Internship at LOICZ IPO

Zoe Vosberg Zoe Vosberg

I am Zoe Vosberg, Geography student from Kiel, and in summer 2010 I spent 9 weeks at the LOICZ IPO as an intern.

When I joined the IPO in August there were only few weeks left to organise the Storm Surges Congress at the University of Hamburg. My main task was to coordinate the student helpers for the congress. First I assessed how many students would be needed and after recruiting them I compiled their work schedules. Apart from this I was to some extend responsible for the setup of the venue. I made up the plan of how to arrange the poster islands and I created the signposts needed to find the way around the university building. As the congress moved closer and the left-over time decreased I also assisted the IPO staff in editing the congress programme, communicating with some of the participants, uploading the lectures on the conference laptop and other smaller things. Fortunately, during the week of the congress almost everything worked out as planned and apart from working together with the other student helpers I found time to listen to some of the very interesting talks. I especially enjoyed the internationality of the congress and the high scientific level of the lectures. After the congress week I still had some weeks of internship left. Enough time to prepare the congress presentations for being uploaded on the LOICZ website and to evaluate the participant’s feedback.

Overall I had a great time at the LOICZ IPO. I have learned a lot for my studies, my future career and for life itself. Thank you Hartwig, Jürgen, Barbe, Christiane and Marcus for letting me be part of your team, for trusting me and for giving me such interesting and responsible tasks!

Stephanie Gschrei Stephanie Gschrei

My name is Stephanie Gschrei. I studied Geography at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and have a Master degree in Physical Geography. During my studies I did internships at GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam) and University of Hamburg (Universität Hamburg, Institut fuer Meereskunde). I am interested in Oceanography and Coastal Research. Currently I am preparing my Doctoral thesis. For this I have chosen to attend to theme 2 (Implications of Global Change for Coastal Ecosystems and Sustainable Development) of the scientific themes proposed by LOICZ. I did an internship at LOICZ in March 2010 to get a review about the working fields and research methods in Coastal Research. My task was to prepare a synthesis of each of the different projects affiliate to LOICZ for the evaluation in summer 2010.

Eric Kiener Eric Kiener

Eric Kiener, 15 years old, Intern at the LOICZ IPO. The training period from 16-20 November, 2009, at the International Project Office of the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone project (LOICZ IPO) was very interesting and productive. After a nice welcome, I was shown my office space and was introduced to the working environment of LOICZ. Dr. J. Weichselgartner, Senior Science Coordinator of LOICZ, showed me the tasks that I had to do during my internship.
Two days, I spent at the printing department of LOICZ, where Mrs. Meiners showed me how to use graphic design programs. There, I have not only learned editing LOICZ R&S Reports, but also designing cover pages by using the photo editing program “Quark”. On Thursday afternoon, I was invited to attend a seminar on “Risk Management and Project Conception” at the Institute of Geography, Hamburg University. It was very interesting to see how the students gave presentations and discussed about them. At my last day, I was at the GKSS pupil laboratory “Quantensprung”. The main topic was “Introduction in Water Analytics”. Together with other pupils, I was experimenting with water.
During my week at the LOICZ IPO, I spent my lunch breaks with my colleagues from LOICZ in the cafeteria of the GKSS Research Center. The food was very good and not too unhealthy. All in all, I think my internship at the LOICZ IPO was very informative and exciting. Thanks to Hartwig, Juergen, Barbe, Christiane, Ines and Ivan.

Steffi Ehlert Steffi Ehlert

Steffi Ehlert, 26 years, Bachelor of Science Geography student from Hamburg University joined the LOICZ IPO in July 2009 for a 9 weeks internship (excluding a short break to visit the German Geographers Day in Vienna). After two years of studying at university, I decided that it was time to get some practical experience. Before I started to study geography, I did a three year apprenticeship in a company. This position gave me insight into how the economy functions. I then decided that I would like to gain another experience; this time in an international setting. As such, I came to the LOICZ IPO with the following goals:

1. Supporting the work of the IPO
2. Doing some research for my Bachelor thesis, and
3. Improving my English language skills.

1. Supporting the IPO

Interactive Poster Station „Changing coastal systems“ (at Open day GKSS) Interactive Poster Station „Changing coastal systems“ (at Open day GKSS)

When I started my internship, one of the main working tasks I was given was supporting the Open Day of the GKSS Research Center. To achieve this, we had several meetings and discussions in order to collect ideas on how we will present the work of LOICZ. Finally, we decided to prepare some interactive stations with informative posters and final quizzes. My part was the preparation of a series of posters about coastal change, mega-cities in coastal areas and some quizzes like a “Delta-Quiz” and a quiz about coastal change.

2. Research for my Bachelor thesis

My focus of interest is based on the rapid development and the transition process in the Arabian Gulf region, especially Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I did a lot of desk research in order to get an overview of the development of the two Emirates and what strategies they pursue to reduce their dependency on oil. Dubai is well known for its luxury tourism and massive land reclamation. But what is about Abu Dhabi? Very few people really know about Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is located on an island and has also announced a number of mega projects to enforce their position as the national capital and an international hub. The city is part of the same named Emirates, which is the biggest of the seven emirates and possesses nearly 94% of the UAE’s total oil reserves. Compared to Dubai, where oil reserves will be largely depleted in 2010, Abu Dhabi’s reserves are expected to last for the next 90 years. As a result, Abu Dhabi has the opportunity to develop itself in a more sustainable way than Dubai did. For instance, Dubai has been promoted as a travel and tourism destination; something they seek to achieve by increasing their original coastline of approximately 70 km to nearly 900 km through massive land reclamation in shapes of palms and the world. In contrast, Abu Dhabi would like to upgrade its attractiveness to tourists though several cultural developments like museums, event locations and proximity to the islands. It will be interesting to see what similar strategies they will pursue in such a different way.

3. Improving my English language skills

After an intensive desktop study and reading hundreds of pages in books and on the Internet, I now feel well prepared for reading articles and doing presentations in English like I did on my last day. Thanks to all Erasmus Mundus students who made my 9 weeks internship so international and assisted me in improving my English.

Also a special thanks to Hartwig, Juergen, Barbe, Ines and Christian for all the new input, and of course the nice time at the LOICZ IPO!

Christian Dorsch Christian Dorsch

I am studying geography at the University of Marburg / Germany. As coastal geography is the major field of my studies, the LOICZ IPO was the ideal internship for me. I liked particularly the interdisciplinary thinking between the physical and human dimensions of coastal change and the approach to questions from different kinds of view. The preparative support of the GKSS Research Center’s Open Day was a first focus during my internship. Therefore, I designed posters that dealt with coastal megacities in scientific way understandable for the general public. It was nice to see how children and especially adults showed interest in the final product. Currently, the planning of the Storm Surges Congress 2010 in Hamburg is a big topic at the LOICZ IPO. It was interesting and useful to get an insight in the preparation of such a huge event and to contribute to it: as part of my internship, I am writing a background paper that introduces the key topics to be addressed during the congress. The main focus is on regional differences in storm surge management. I received support by the members of the Steering Committee, who assisted me very much with literature hints and feedback. I am planning to finish the paper in December.
Even though I did my internship in my home country, my English language skills benefited a lot from the international focus of LOICZ. Not at least the enjoyable Erasmus Mundus students were the reason for that. There was always the opportunity to chat and cultural exchange.
Overall I got an impression about the work at a research institute with nice and helpful people. The internship was a very useful experience I would not want to miss.

Catharina Meyer Catharina Meyer

Since 1 September, 2008, Catharina Meyer, geography student at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, is supporting the LOICZ IPO at the Institute for Coastal Research at the GKSS. For a period of ten weeks, she will be engaged in preparing complex global environmental change science for Young LOICZ activities. The IPO will profit from her experience she already gained in age-specific science communication and knowledge transfer by leading a “Summer of Geosciences” workshop at the children’s academy in the city of Fulda. A main focus of her work was the preparation and organization of the Children’s University in Backnang (Baden-Württemberg).

Kids Universtity

Nadine Graupmann Nadine Graupmann

A three-week Internship at the LOICZ IPO, GKSS Research Center Geesthacht

Nadine Graupmann, 14 years, Intern at LOICZ IPO from a junior high school in Hamburg
The training period from 23 June to 11 July, 2008, at the International Project Office of the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone project (LOICZ IPO) was very interesting and productive. After a nice welcome, I was shown my office space and was introduced to the working environment. A list with working duties was already prepared for me.
During the three weeks of my internship I have not only learned how to write e-mails in English, but also how to handle a two-screen desktop PC that I had to work with. Using new programs (Lotus Notes) and data base software (Cobra), I was shown how to send e-mails and newsletter to international recipients. After being familiar with the software, I corrected wrong data base entries and included new ones that had to be recorded in Cobra. A significant amount of time I spent on Internet searches to identify potential partners of LOICZ as well as to complete and update contact details of existing ones, respectively. Furthermore, I made different Excel tables, worked on an online calendar for the LOICZ website, and learned how to use photocopy machine and the various printers.
In addition to my daily work, I occasionally participated in appointments. For instance, I attended one day the pupil’s lab Quantum Leap where I worked with a fuel cell and could pose questions to an ocean biologist – a profession I am very interested in. Another day I took part in an internal seminar aiming to improve the project management processes of LOICZ. Such activities were very exciting and added value to my internship. The same can be said regarding social activities. During my time at the LOICZ IPO, I spent my breaks either with the staff in the GKSS cafeteria or in the small kitchen where we prepared our own food. At any time, I could approach all employees and ask questions – also on a more private level – and I always received appropriate answers.
On 4 July, my teacher Mr. Tiedemann visited me at the LOICZ IPO and met and discussed my internship with the staff. He was satisfied with both my work and the opportunities I was given. In summary: I had a very useful training period and satisfying time.
Nadine Graupmann

Supervising teacher of Nadine

“From the viewpoint of a supervising teacher, my visit at the LOICZ IPO was a real pleasure. It quickly became clear that the LOICZ staff does not treat school trainees secondary, but rather seriously look after them and integrate them into their team. An extensive and structured selection of activities meets with a pleasant sense of the possibilities and boundaries of pupils. As a teacher, one leaves the LOICZ IPO in the pleasant certainty that your student is embedded in a comfortable atmosphere and provided with intellectually stimulating activities.”
Dr. Markus Tiedemann,
Teacher of N. Graupmann and Lecturer, National Institute for Teacher Education and School Development

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