Postgraduate Education at the Alfred Wegener Institute
Today’s graduate and postgraduate education in the fields of earth system science and environmental science is a highly interdisciplinary and inter-institutional challenge. The integration of observations, palaeoclimate data, and modelling requires networks and collaborations of experts and specialists in order to better understand natural climate variations over a broad range of timescales and disciplines, and to cope with the challenges of recent climate change.
The existing research infrastructure at the AWI offers a unique research environment in north-western Germany to study past, present and future changes of the climate system, with special focus on high latitudinal processes. It covers all kind of disciplines, climate sciences, geosciences, and biosciences, and provides a framework for education and qualification of a new generation of expertly trained, internationally competitive Master’s and PhD students.
The foundation of an Earth System Science Research School (ESSReS) at the AWI enables PhD students from a variety of disciplines to cooperate and exchange views on the common theme of ‘linking data and modelling’, leading to a better understanding of local processes within a global context. Computational and conceptual models of the Earth’s system provide the ability to investigate different scenarios in biogeochemistry, such as the carbon cycle, the structure of marine sediments, and isotope distribution in climate components. Training and education, especially in time-series and data analysis, is a common key component for all participants.
The Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR) provides a structured framework for education and qualification for PhD students in general. Developing all categories of skills needed for analysing complex climate and environmental systems and the development of integrated solutions in a supportive network of collaborating research institutions fosters outstanding career options. Structured training and supervision supported by a broad range of soft skills courses is indicative for the entire concept.
This structured and integrated educational concept provides a strong basis for qualifying the next generation of excellent scientists for the challenging questions in earth system science and polar and marine research.