The Scientific Research Programme "AnT-ERA" recently held a Spring Course on "Biological Processes in Antarctic Ecosystem" in Buenos Aires, Argentina.The course, attended by 44 students from ten primarily South-American countries, was hosted by the Instituto Antártico Argentino.
"It was a privilege to be part of this unique initiative, a course taught by renowned polar scientists. Among other positive aspects, we had the chance of discussing ideas and sharing experiences, constructing bridges of possible new partnerships, reminding us the important role we play being a polar scientist," said Camila Negrão Signori, an early-career scientist of the University of São Paulo, Brazil and former SCAR fellow.
Within five days, eleven different teaching units were offered by twelve lecturers from eight countries. The topics ranged from biodiversity and response of biota to warming, to DNA barcoding and tips for grant writing. "It was stimulating to share knowledge, experiences and enthusiasm on Antarctic research with scholars at the beginning of their scientific careers and from such a diverse group of nationalities" summarised Enrique Isla, who lead one teaching unit.
At the end of the course the lecturers and the AnT-ERA chief officer, Julian Gutt, are convinced that the students learned how to apply new methods and develop own scientific concepts, all in a stimulating atmosphere and the great hospitality of the hosting institute. Irene Schloss, from the Instituto Antártico Argentino, the local organizer, voiced her expectations: "I sincerely hope that the knowledge and discussions with fellows and colleagues that students experienced here will act as an amplifier when they return to their home universities or institutes. They are the next generation of Antarctic scientists."