By Anastasia Gorlenko
2-week PhD course in Hyytiälä, Finland
Advanced analysis of atmosphere-surface interactions and feedbacks
During the course, I learned how to use long-term atmospheric, meteorological and eco-physiological measurement data from Hyytiäla field station, with all the specificities that come from studying a boreal ecosystem. I used R as an analysis tool for complex datasets. We worked in a group of 7 people with various educational and cultural backgrounds. We applied collaborative and integrated learning to define the research questions, select the relevant data, apply statistical methods to help its interpretation, to visualize the data and frequently present it orally to the rest of the class and teachers. All in all, I learned how to manage a short-term scientific project, with a multidisciplinary approach.
We decided to analyze the growing season length in the boreal environment based on various climatic and ecological metrics. I analyzed the CO2 flux measurements from the Eddy Covariance tower in the forest, which is relevant for my PhD project. I also analyzed shoots growth measurements data, which is the most relevant physiological measure of the growing season.
There were some theoretical lectures by local professors, but most of the time was dedicated to group work around the research questions, supported by assistants. This was a good simulation of a research environment. The work schedule was intense and punctuated by regular oral presentations. After the course, we had a few other meetings with the group members to finalize the final written report.
This experience has broadened my perspectives on how to conduct an interdisciplinary scientific project and my network - I worked and lived with young researchers from all over the world and made some good memories.