The courses represent a unique opportunity for them to learn and improve their knowledge about marine data acquisition instruments, expecially, but not only, for students/young scientists which come from less equipped countries and/or from states with limited funding for access to vessels. Feedback from the course participants was acquired on the last day and it was based on the courses evaluation questionnaire, the results outlined some interesting remarks:
- On the good side: atmosphere and time on-board; instructors lecturing; working with different people and being on-board; deploying and recovering instruments; learning processing and visualization software; multidisciplinary approach; learning about different things from the usual.
- On the downside: participants considered that course should be longer, more time should be used (1.5 - 2 weeks); more instruments, and more pre-processing; more explanations on different software; in case of multidisciplinary courses, not all the different disciplines have the same time devoted.
Summarizing, these onboard practical activities are always a great success and welcomed by European students/young scientists. The applicants and participants are fairly well distributed among European nations, indicating that these practical courses are a necessity not only for the less equipped countries and/or States with limited funding for access to vessels; providing emerging scientists with a significant training/familiarization with the infrastructures and their facilities is an "European request".
This kind of courses are a reality in some European countries (i.e. the SMART program in Ireland). Expand this activities at a European level, with more time, funds and awareness by all the European countries and ship operators is the challenge besides a request from the students/young researchers to prepare a highly qualified european researchers group.