Atlantic Summer School 2014

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General information

The Atlantic Summer School is a collaboration between the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) Ireland and the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) Germany and will pool infrastructure and expertise from Ireland’s Marine Institute and Higher Education Institutes with Europe’s foremost Polar research institute for the benefit of marine-related postgraduates from across the island of Ireland and Germany.

The Summer School will build capacity in offshore marine research and training by providing early stage career scientists with the knowledge and skills necessary to act as Chief Scientists on their own research surveys. In addition to the five days of research at sea onboard the RV Celtic Explorer, the school includes pre-survey meetings via Skype, pre-cruise preparation in Cork and post-survey data analysis and reporting in Galway. Course content will specifically focus on:

  • Pre-survey meetings and lectures on the study site, SACs and CWC ecosystems
  • Practical shore-based workshop on designing and planning the survey
  • Deployment and operation of novel equipment and instrumentation
  • Acquisition, processing and achieving of samples
  • On-board evening survey meetings and lectures from participants
  • Post-survey data processing and analysis
  • Compiling survey reports through working groups

The collaboration will introduce mobility pathways for postgraduate students and early career researchers between Ireland and Germany and serve as an excellent networking opportunity for all participants.  This is the first of a series of summer schools that will alternate between Irish and German research vessels with the 2015 school taking place on the RV Heincke. This exciting call is open to postgraduate students (MSc and PhD) from across the island of Ireland and Germany. For further information please download a poster.


The 2014 Summer School will specifically focus on a multidisciplinary investigation of cold water coral (CWC) ecosystems, off the Belgica Mound Province which is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) approximately 100km south west of Ireland. These unique environments are biological “hot-spots” characterised by a diverse fauna associated with the reef-building corals that give rise to giant carbonate mounds up to 300m high, at depths of between 550 and 1060m. Formed over millennia, carbonate mounds provide high-resolution records of long term climate change. The training survey will focus on the biological, geological and oceanographic dynamics that control the development and decay of carbonate mounds using a variety of novel equipment and instrumentation.

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Venue: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Galway, Ireland

Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training

  • Five days of research at sea onboard the RV Celtic Explorer
  • Meetings, preparation and data analysis at Cork and Galway (Ireland)



All travel and shore-based accommodation costs are the responsibility of summer school participants.


Please note that successful applicants must have or plan to secure a valid Medical Certificate approved by the state (ENG11 in Ireland) and Personal Survival Techniques (PST) certificate approved under the STCW 78/95 convention. Further information can be found here.

Application Procedure:

Online application forms must be completed and received by 17:00hrs (CET) on Friday 6th June 2014. Applicants will be informed on the outcome of evaluations by 20th June 2014.


Academic level: Master, PhD
Occupations (not validated):
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