Participants in the EU-funded ODYSSEA project’s first Summer School session, held in Kavala, Greece in early September 2018, reported that the experience widened their professional horizons, strengthened their technical skills and knowledge, and expanded their professional networks.
In their evaluations of the course, participants said that the experience inspired them to want to contribute to the ODYSSEA observatory and platform in their home country, as well as to other initiatives, or in the context of their own research projects.
“The summer school was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to [learn] first-hand about operational oceanography and the new technologies used in operational oceanographic monitoring,” one participant said in the course evaluation. “The content of training was very interesting, as well as the quality and knowledge of the consultants [providing instruction,” another added.
“One of the best outcomes of the summer school was the fact that it gathered young researchers with different perspectives and from different backgrounds to build a powerful network throughout the Mediterranean region. […] ODYSSEA is not just a project, but a strong network where I can feel motivated and be sure that many fascinating things are being done for the sustainability of the Mediterranean region,” another participant said, and added that the experience brought home the ODYSSEA project’s “great importance in achieving sustainable Blue Growth in the Mediterranean Sea. […] Now my vision [has] changed from thinking about what I can do [within] my circle, to what I can do [for] the whole Mediterranean region […] using the knowledge I gained.”
“I learned many aspects about modelling and data sources that will allow me to see new research ideas,” said one, adding that she also would like to help contribute to the data gathering and analysis being done in her country, while another expressed the belief that the program would help him contribute to the establishment of the observatory in his country, and allow him to function as a link between the platform and its potential users.
In terms of ideas to make the Summer School even better for its second session, several participants expressed the desire to have more practice using the tools and techniques learned integrated into the program.