Tag Archives: project

What oceanographers do on a day-to-day basis?

One thing I most like of my job is that it has a lot of different task for example:

  • Conferences
  • Meetings (with the boss, with students, with colleagues, with people in the same project…)
  • Cruises
  • Courses
  • Lab work
  • Data analysis and treatment
  • Writing
  • Revise (your own work and other works)
  • Apply for new jobs, new fellowships, new grants…

The problem is that this variety doesn’t happen every week. When I am on a cruise, I am on the cruise for several weeks, 24/7 (and towards the end of the cruise I dream of being at my office desk and my sofa). When I am finished with the cruise, I have a more normal office life (although occasionally, a lot longer hours), and after several months of being in front of the computer I dream on going to sea again!!

In my blog I would like to tell what I do during my days in England. Today I will start with an end of project meeting which happened this week.

My contract is associated to the Sea Surface Consortium (http://www.surfaceoa.org.uk/) of the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (http://www.oceanacidification.org.uk/). That means, among other things, that one works and interacts with a lot of people from different institutes. Even in the internet era, all these people have to come together to present their results, discuss what to do with them, split tasks…

So for that reason, during the two years and almost a half that I have been working in this project, I have been to Exeter, St Andrews, Plymouth, London and Southampton. It’s a pity that because most of us are based in Southampton, we have repeated it for at least three meetings and I miss the opportunity to visit Cambridge or Obam.UKOA Cities

So we meet together and after the “hello, how have you been?” “Not too bad, thank you! And you?” we spend some hours in a room doing presentation (most of them prepared the night before in a rush and “saying oh my gosh where is this graph??!!”). Each of us talk around 10-15 minutes and then there is time for questions, comments, feedbacks. Then we break for coffee, tea and biscuits. And the chit-chat continuous: “how long is your contract for?” although some other conversations are more in detail. We reconvene and continue presenting and talking. After a couple of more hours, we stop for lunch. Then again inside the room/coffee/room and at the end, your head it’s so full of new information and new ideas of, try this, try that… that all you want it is a nice break. We have normally a group dinner in a pleasant restaurant. I believe science advance more with a beer in hand. These types of meetings are normally one day and a half or two. So the second day is where, having shown what we have done, we sit down and decide what is left to do and who (and when!) will do what. It is also the time to decide where and when to meet next.