Three years after the initiative, the International winter school in Goa, India, has started

The International Interdisciplinary PhD and Post-doc Winter School “The Arctic Ocean: atmosphere, ice and ocean interactions - implications for future climate and human activities” started yesterday. 18 lecturers and 30 student participants all gathered in Goa, India at the beautiful campus of the ESSO-National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research. The planning tough began three years ago.

Opening speech: The Ambassador of Norway to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, opened the winter school in Gao.Opening speech: The Ambassador of Norway to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, opened the winter school in Gao.

The Norwegian Ambassador to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, opened the research school addressing the students and other participants with the historical, present and future importance of the Arctic, both to Norway and in the international context. The bilateral Indo-Norwegian cooperation in research have significantly increased over the last decade. 

Research Coordinator Lasse Pettersson at the Nansen Center in Bergen has been one of the main organizers. He says that the planning of this winter school started a long time ago. - The journey started in Hyderabad already in 2015 during a similar Indo-Norwegian research school focusing on operational oceanography and the ocean closer to India - The Indian Ocean. The question was raised - will it be possible and of interest to India to host a research school on the Arctic Ocean in tropical Goa? Yes, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of Indian and NCPOR were very interested and supportive. The planning started together with the Nansen Scientific Society and the Nansen Center in Bergen. A scientific program was formulated and relevant lecturers were contacted. Most of them agreed to participate, both in India and abroad. The announcement for student participation was published half a year ago, after securing both funding and other needed resources, says Pettersson. 

Secured funding and resources were obtained from the Indian ESSO (Earth Science Service Organisation), Nansen Scientific Society, the Research Council of Norway through the ARCONOR project and all the participating institutions.

The Indo-Norwegian cooperation started actually with the establishment of the Nansen Environmental Research Centre – India (NERCI) in Cochin in 1999 - almost 20 years ago. Since then the bilateral Indo-Norwegian cooperation has developed and implemented several joint research and education project activities, including several research schools hosted here in India. 

Lecture on sea ice: Lasse Pettersson from the Nansen Center in BergenLecture on sea ice: Lasse Pettersson from the Nansen Center in Bergen

- It is a huge relief to finally see that everything worked out perfectly and all the qualified student and lecturers we have managed to gather to this International Interdisciplinary winter school, says Pettersson. 

He expresses that it was a difficult selection to make considering the assessment and priorities of the organizers. - A good balance between international and national participation, gender, fields of research and progress of research was reached in consensus and even with a prioritized “waiting-list” in case of any drop-outs. NCPOR had the pleasure of informing the selected candidates. says Pettersson.

On behalf of the Nansen Center in Bergen he is grateful for the tremendous workload the Indian partners has undertaken regarding planning and the many interactions with each participant.- National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) and NANSI have done enormous efforts in this respect over the last months and weeks. Their contribution has been very valuable for this research school to be an excellent opportunity for the students and the lecturers, says Lasse Pettersson.

The next days the students and lecturerswill share their passion for science and the Arctic Ocean in particular. The participants will receive frame setting lectures and combine this with their own experience. Einar Olason, Anton Korosov and Richard Davy from the Nansen Center in Bergen are  participating to give frame setting presentations. 

First day of the international winter school: “The Arctic Ocean: atmosphere, ice and ocean interactions - implications for future climate and human activities”First day of the international winter school: “The Arctic Ocean: atmosphere, ice and ocean interactions - implications for future climate and human activities”