Following up on number 2 why it is awesome to study marine microbes (besides them being sooo interesting), I am currently in Hawaii doing a summer course in microbial oceanography. We had two intense weeks at the CMORE center in Honolulu with lectures from different faculty members and will go on a research cruise on sunday for 8 days. After a lot of data processing and lab analysis we will hopefully have gained deep insights into the microbial and oceanographic processes at station ALOHA in the pacific ocean.
But let’s back up a bit: Arriving here, I had to acclimatize to warm and humid conditions, that went surprisingly fast and I don’t really miss Swedish weather. 15 other grad-students take the course with me and we come from all over the world (southern and northern hemisphere) and all have different backgrounds in microbial biology, oceanography or modeling. It is an awesome crowd of people and I enjoy every minute with these guys and the faculty that takes a lot of time to hang out with us, even after work.
In the first week we discussed and learned about nutrient cycles, climate change and oceanic processes from some of the world’s leading experts. In the second week the focus was on microbial ecology and sequencing techniques to address research questions. We spend about 9 hours a day all together in the classroom and meet for dinner and drinks afterwards, continuing to nerd about work. The little free time we have is used to explore the island, go snorkeling, communicate with the world and enjoy life.