RV Celtic Explorer

SMART-AWI Atlantic Summer School 2014

The Atlantic Summer School is a collaboration between SMART and the Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) of Germany that will pool infrastructure and expertise from Ireland’s Marine Institute and HEIs with Europe’s foremost Polar research institute for the benefit of marine-related postgraduates from across the island of Ireland and Germany.

The Summer School aims to build capacity in offshore marine research and training by providing early stage career scientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to act as Chief Scientists on their own research surveys. In addition to the five days of research at sea onboard the RV Celtic Explorer, the school includes pre-survey meetings via Skype, pre-cruise preparation in Cork and post-survey data analysis and reporting in Galway. Course content will specifically focus on:

·         Pre-survey meetings and lectures on the study site, SACs and CWC ecosystems

·         Practical shore-based workshop on designing and planning the survey

·         Deployment and operation of novel equipment and instrumentation

·         Acquisition, processing and achieving of samples

·         On-board evening survey meetings and lectures from participants

·         Post-survey data processing and analysis

·         Compiling survey reports through working groups

The 2014 Summer School will specifically focus on a multidisciplinary investigation of cold water coral (CWC) ecosystems, off the Belgica Mound Province which is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) approximately 100km south west of Ireland. These unique environments are biological “hot-spots” characterised by a diverse fauna associated with the reef-building corals that give rise to giant carbonate mounds up to 300m high, at depths of between 550 and 1060m. Formed over millennia, carbonate mounds provide high-resolution records of long term climate change. The training survey will focus on the biological, geological and oceanographic dynamics that control the development and decay of carbonate mounds using a variety of novel equipment and instrumentation.

The collaboration will introduce mobility pathways for postgraduate students and early career researchers between Ireland and Germany and serve as an excellent networking opportunity for all participants.  This is the first of a series of summer schools that will alternate between Irish and German research vessels with the 2015 school taking place on the RV Polarstern.

This exciting call is open to postgraduate students (MSc and PhD) from across the island of Ireland and Germany.

Online application forms must be completed and received by 17:00 hrs (CET) on Wednesday 11th June 2014. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of evaluations by 20th June 2014.

Please note that all successful applicants must have or plan to secure a valid Seafarer's Medical Certificate and Personal Survival Techniques (PST) certificate approved under the STCW 78/95 convention, original copies of which must be presented upon boarding. Further information can be found here

In Ireland the seafarer's medical certificate or ENG11 can be undertaken only by the following approved medical practitioners. In Germany, the accepted certificate is the Medical Fitness Examination for Service at Sea which is provided by the the following approved doctors. For further information on German certificates please see FAQs.

Successful participants who do not already hold a PST Sea Survival Certificate will be given the option of attending a PST course in Ireland on 12th September 2014.

The Atlantic Summer School will be carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. The course is fully funded and successful participants have only to cover travel and shore-based accommodation costs.

For further information please download a poster visit the SMART website or contact smart@gmit.ie.

This training programme will be carried out under the Sea Change strategy with the support of the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013.