FLOATING SUMMER SCHOOL – North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT)

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General information

Research vessel RV Polarstern – transit from Bremerhaven (Germany) to Cape Town (South Africa).

Improving our knowledge of the ocean requires a new generation of well-trained researchers that are able to combine practical field work with modern methods like remote sensing or RNA sequencing. By crossing the Atlantic from North to South, students will get a thorough insight in the fundamental principles of biological oceanography. 

This exciting cruise will bring together participants from Europe and South Africa, through a joint cooperation between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO). Download Flyer.

Students will be trained in the principles of oceanography and marine biology. Work on board will include lectures, practical exercises and student presentations. Along the North South transect from Bremerhaven to Cape Town, participants will get a hands-on training in deployment and operation of scientific gear (Rosette sampler with CTD sensors, Bongonet, Multinet, and Continuous Plankton recorder), acquisition and processing of the sample material and interpretation of the respective data. Students will be trained in:

  • The determination of pH, oxygen and alkalinity 
  • Microscopy of phytoplankton and zooplankton 
  • Determination of phytoplankton 
  • DNA/RNA isolation 
  • Cultivation of species

For MARES Doctoral students this summer school can be taken as either an Expert Training or a Transferable Skills course depending on the project that the student will follow on board of Polarstern. If the project is thematicaly related with the PhD project of the student, then the summer school can be considered as an expert training. If there is no close relation, then the summer school should be considered as a transferable skills course.

Contact Person: Dr. Claudia Hanfland (Claudia.Hanfland@awi.de )


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI)
Bremerhaven, Germany

The Floating Summerschool will take place on the German research vessel POLARSTERN, one of the most sophisticated polar research vessels worldwide. The ship is equipped for biological, geological, geophysical, glaciological, chemical, oceanographic and meteorological research, including appropriate laboratories.


Open from
13 Apr 2015 to 7 Jun 2015


Applications are accepted from graduates with a background in biological and / or marine sciences. A good command of English is required.

Important Notes

  • Applicants who are positively evaluated will need to submit a medical history and perform a complete physical exam. The completed medical checklist must be submitted not later than August 10.
  • Applicants must hold a valid passport. They should make sure that they are eligible for a tourist visa to enter Germany (starting point) and South Africa (ending point).

Application Procedure:

Apply using the online application form. The application period for this summer school is open from 13 April 2015 until 7 June 2015.

Grant Opportunities:

Accepted applicants will receive a scholarship to cover tuition, travel to Bremerhaven and from Cape Town, lodging and food. Costs for visa (if applicable) and medical checks cannot be covered.


Academic level: Master, PhD
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