My time as a POGO trainee.
by Ana I. Dogliotti
There are specific moments in your life (specially round number anniversaries) that makes you stop for a moment, forget all the daily rush and obligations, and look at your life from a distance… look at things in perspective and it’s when you manage to see the journey undertaken that made you who you are now; all the things you did and also the ones that you didn’t do which actually helped you became who you are at the present moment. In my case, it’s been 20 years since I started my PhD and looking backwards I realize now how important my training experiences have been and how they shaped my career and life. POGO gave me many invaluable opportunities that marked my career that I still remember. It was in 2003, being a young PhD student, that I participated for the first time in an oceanographic cruise, Leg 3 of the Blue Earth Global Expedition (BEAGLE – 2003), when we sailed from Valparaíso (Chile) to Santos (Brazil). And actually it was the first time in my life that I got on a boat! It was a whole new experience for me and I still can’t believe all the things I’ve learned during those 15 days at sea. I realized at that time that sailing was not for me, I felt seasick all the time, but I forced myself to work and learn as much as I could. It was the first time for me to work in a lab, filtering, measuring chlorophyll, absorption with a spectrophotometer on board (such a privilege!), making primary production incubations and using for the first time a spectroradiometer! Everything was so exiting and new to me and it’s still today that I remember the techniques I’ve learned there. Indeed, it was such a good experience, not only in the professional aspect, learning from good researchers like Vivian Lutz, but also on the personal side, I met many people with different culture and habits that enriched my life. It was unforgettable and marked the early times of my career.
Then, the second milestone I remember is attending in 2006 the course in Brazil, taught by Robert Frouin within POGO Visiting Professorship Programme. It was the most comprehensive course I’ve ever attended, covering from fundamental principles to modeling, inversion, instrumentation and measurements. The activities included not only formal lectures, but also laboratory measurements, field experiment and data analysis. There were also other experts from the ocean-colour community that shared their knowledge, like Dr. Gerg Mitchel (SIO), Dr. Ewa Kwiatkowska (NASA), Prof. I. Asanuma (Tokyo Univ.) and Dr. V. Lutz (INIDEP). It was also a good moment for the ANTARES project, an integrated Latin American network which main goal is the study of long-term changes in coastal ecosystems around South America integrating field (time-series stations) and satellite data, to gain strength since most of the course participants joined the network at that time. And what’s more, I’ve met some of the students I shared this experience with later in different occasions, like conferences and meetings, and also kept in touch and even had projects with a few of them. It was an important experience in my career.
And finally, after returning to Argentina from a podoc experience in Brazil, I attended the first “Training Programme in a Developing Country” implemented as part of the NF-POGO Centre of Excellence, which took place in Arraial do Cabo, Brazil in 2009. This high level course did not only gave me the opportunity to apply and strengthen the acquired knowledge, but also promoted new collaborations. The contacts I made during this course gave me the opportunity to do a posdoc in Belgium the following year in a renowned group lead by Dr. Ruddick. All these training received and experiences lived influenced more than positively my career for which I’m very grateful.