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CHESS ends on a high note

It has been almost nine years with courses, summer schools and exchange of knowledge and experiences. Tuesday, the research school CHESS has its final Annual Meeting.  


-CHESS has been a huge success and has not only connected PhD students across Norway, but also faculty members, says Thomas Spengler, the director of CHESS.

CHESS, Research School on Changing Climates in the Coupled Earth System, got 19,5 million Norwegian kroner by the Research Council of Norway back in 2015, and succeeded the Graduate School for Climate Research, better known as ResClim 

Connect better

-The National Research Council wanted a new research school, to build a national network of geoscientists. We have a strong academic environment in Norway on this field, but we are scattered around the country and need to connect better across institutions and regions, says Spengler.  

Arctic Field Course at the Danish arctic research station on Disko Island.


This Tuesday, CHESS will end on a high note. The last annual meeting will be held in the University Aula, and keynote speakers include Gunn Mangerud, Dean at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Director at the Bjerknes Center Kikki Kleiven and Markus Engelhardt from the Research council of Norway.  

After lunch it is time to show what CHESS has accomplished.  
-We will hear from five CHESS-alumni how CHESS has contributed to their careers. Thereafter, we will have a career development workshop, before endring the evening with dinner at Ulriken, says Spengler.  

Uncertain future

There will be about 70-80 participants at the last CHESS meeting. The research school currently has 174 PhD members and 103 supervisors. Up to now,193 CHESS PhD students have graduated. 

The way forward for the network of the research school is the legacy plan for CHESS where the Norwegian Geophysical Society will maintain the network and continue to offer core courses from CHESS. In particular, the goal is to keep connecting early career scientists in Norway through courses and summer schools.  
-CHESS has already been downscaled over the last two years, but we want to continue with the most successful offers from CHESS, which have been the summer schools and courses, like the writing and presentation courses. The Norwegian Geophysical Society will also organise a national conference every other year, so the network established through CHESS can continue to be a hub for exchanging experiences and knowledge in Norway.  

Field course for PhD candidates associated with the research school CHESS, on Disco Island, Greenland, March 2018. Photo: Morven Muilwijk

Everyone contributes

According to Spengler, key to the success of CHESS has been its bottom-up approach, engaging both PhDs and supervisors to organise activities. He thinks it was especially rewarding to see early career scientists arranging courses. For the first General Assembly of the Norwegian Geophysical Society, the scientific organisation committee that put together the program was largely composed of the national network established through CHESS across the different institutions in Norway. Thus, the entire CHESS network made a significant contribution to the program. 

-For the future ahead, the key is to establish the Norwegian Geophysical Society as the main national hub for scientists within geophysical disciplines. We hope that people will engage in this exciting development of building up this national society and that they realise that their contributions will be rewarded and that they in turn get something out of this society, says Spengler.