PS120 - Weekly Report No. 1 | 2 - 9 June 2019

Polarstern in Port Stanley

[12. June 2019] 

The PS120 Transit on RV „Polarstern“between Port Stanley and Bremerhaven is a research- and training expedition. Twenty-three young scholars, who were chosen from 800 applicants, are taking part in the SoNoAT 2019 „Changing Oceans Changing Future“ programme. This is set upon RV „Polarstern“ as a collaboration of POGO (Partnership for Observations in the Global Oceans),  NIPPON FOUNDATION and AtlantOS.

On the 02. June 2019 we finally arrived. All of the PS120-scientists, landed in the Falkland Islands after a diverse array of delays and re-routings. We were driven from Mt. Pleasant across the barren and imposing landscape of the eastern Falkland Islands to the transfer boats in the harbour of Port Stanley. The lovely POLARSTERN was waiting for us in the bay.

Upon laying eyes on the ship, excitement was evident in many faces. Some of the scholars, although they know a lot about oceans, they never had been on a big ship before.

When everybody had put on their life-vests, the luggage was strapped down in a net and we set off towards the POLARSTERN.

Twenty-five nations were now added to the compliment of countries already on POLARSTERN. In addition, to the 23 Scholars and 13 lecturers, nine logisticians and one weather technician went on board. All cruise participants were introduced to the ship and their cabins and safety drill. We ate the first of many sumptuous meals on board.The different types of lab were set up.

We started the science the next morning. We measured temperature and salinity with many different methods and looked athe different water types stacked up in the Atlantic. The first big highlight was the deployment of ARGO Floats as we transversed the different latitudes. The ARGO floats will be out in the ocean for roughly three years, measuring the temperature and salinity depth profiles and, when at the surface, transmitting the logged data via satellites to our computers at home. These data are used to calibrate weather and climate models and for monitoring ocean currents.

This training cruise is set up to train up young scientists in the practical sides of ocean and climate research. The scholars were divided into work-groups to learn about the different topics at the beginning of the cruise, and have started to work on the different topics and projects. The teaching changes over to a new group every five days.

It didn´t take long for all on board the ship to show interest in the different science being carried out by the different colleagues and the team spirit set in very quickly. We are all very busy and well.


Now I have to rush- the next CTD profile is imminent. We will be sampling down to a depth of 4453 m, so it will take a few hours.

Best wishes from all of us here on board,                                                   

Karen Wiltshire



Karen Helen Wiltshire

Scientific Coordination

Rainer Knust
Rainer Knust


Sanne Bochert
Sanne Bochert