My PhD is one of the projects in the first cohort of the NERC funded ‘SCENARIO‘ doctoral training partnership. On Tuesday 9th June, I attended the first SCENARIO DTP conference at the University of Surrey. The conference was a chance for the existing SCENARIO students and their supervisors to discuss their progress from their first year, and also to meet some of the new students that are starting in September. The conference was focused around three themes that reflect aspects of many of SCENARIO’s projects, each of which had a guest speaker that gave a talk on the importance of the research area and the challenges we face.
The first theme focused on “Fine-scale simulations”. Professor Peter Clark gave a talk in which he gave an overview to the scientific challenges and opportunities that arise from the recent step changes in simulation capability for atmosphere and ocean flows. The second theme focused on “Components of the Earth System”. Professor Sandy Harrison talked about the need for a multi-component, multi-scale, multi-disciplinary approach to Earth System modelling and the challenges that this brings. The third theme focused on “Remote sensing and satellite applications for environmental science”, with Dr Christine Chiu giving an overview as to the wealth of data that new satellite instruments are providing and how that data can be used. As well as these three talks, we also split into three workshop groups and discussed the three research themes. We talked about hot topics within each research theme and ideas for what future research is needed.
Throughout the day, posters from the first year SCENARIO students were on display (mine can be seen below). This was a great way to see what research the other students have been doing and facilitated a lot of discussion between the students and supervisors. Everyone was very enthusiastic about each other’s projects which encouraged us to speak confidently about our research area. This also gave the new students to engage with the existing students and ask question about the life of a Reading PhD SCENARIO student.
Overall it was a great day that helped put our research projects in context of the challenges and opportunities that we face in Earth system science.