T6.1 Eurofleets+ Floating Universities

T6.1 Eurofleets+ Floating Universities
Task 6.2 Training and Education through Access and Exchange
Task 6.3 Blue Skills Labs and Workshops
T6.4 Remote Access, E-learning and Ocean Literacy

Lead: OGS and UGOT

Implement Floating Universities onboard five of the Eurofleets+ participating research vessels, three of them additional to those included in TA, at no cost to the project. Onboard training courses were designed and implemented in the preceding Eurofleets and Eurofleets2 projects. There was a significant demand for places and the floating universities were highly successful in attracting young people to science and stimulating their interest in marine research.
In close collaboration with participants across the project, we will: assemble an international group of senior instructors that will jointly organize the floating university events and outline its educational elements; define selection criteria based on previous projects; draft and publish a Call for student recruitment; and select the participating early stage researchers. Researchers must fill in an application form and their submission will be evaluated on the basis of their scientific background, training needs, and coherency between their studies and topics offered by Floating Universities. Furthermore, travel grants will be devoted to promote and increase the participation of women and people from less equipped countries.

Each Floating University course will start with introductory day(s) devoted to lectures covering the planned activities, survey design & planning and practical & safety issues. Activities will combine lectures, laboratory work and practical sampling/measurements and interpretation of data. As a follow-up, each student will contribute to the official cruise report and submit a report on the outcome of their own project work.
The on-board training is specifically designed for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and it will contribute to consolidate their careers, develop a network of colleagues and in turn could transfer knowledge to a large number of mentored students in a downflow cascading process. Under the framework of a “real hands on experience” we’ll stimulate the participation of early career scientists in seagoing scientific activities aboard Eurofleets+ TA surveys.

The following five Floating Universities’ will be delivered to early stage researchers of marine-related disciplines in specific regions and on different topics:

1. Eurofleets+ Floating University onboard RV Celtic Voyager, MI (Partner 1) [M10]

Hydrographic Surveying (Atlantic Ocean). 8 early stage researchers will be hosted for 7 days in total (3 days onboard and 4 days pre- and post-cruise preparation and data workup); training activities will focus on seabed mapping, habitat mapping and hydrographic surveying off the south coast of Ireland. The vessel is equipped with EM2040 Multi-beam echosounder and Ixsea Gaps USBL system, CTD working to 1000m. has wet, dry and chemical laboratories. The R/V Celtic Voyager can accommodate up to 8 scientists and can stay at sea for a maximum of 14 consecutive days.

2. Eurofleets+ Floating University onboard RV Dallaporta, CNR (Partner 11).
Multidisciplinary (Mediterranean Sea): 8 early stage researchers will be hosted for 7 days onboard; training activities will focus on fisheries (with echo-survey), marine biology and oceanography, including correntometer chains/buoys for time series. The vessel has an extremely well-equipped laboratory with the most up-to-date instrumentation for marine fishery and environmental studies, among which CTD and Rosette Multisampler, an UWTV system for the quantification of some fishery resource, box-core and specialized equipment for investigate fluxes across the sediment- water interface.

3. Eurofleets+ Floating University onboard RV Skagerak, UGOT (Partner 7).
Robotics and Oceanography (Baltic Sea): 12 early stage researchers will be hosted for 3 days onboard; training activities will focus on survey planning, acquisition and treatment of Hydro-acoustics, Glider and ROV data. The vessel is adapted to accommodate a variety of Remotely Operated Vehicles including the 2000 m depth rated Ocean Modules V8 Offshore system and two smaller ROVs (500 and 700 m depth rated), but also the 3000 m depth rated AUV “Hugin” and two Kongsberg Maritime sea gliders, all systems owned by Gothenburg University.

4. Eurofleets+ Floating University onboard RV Mar Portugal, IPMA (Partner 12).
Fisheries (Atlantic Ocean): 8 early stage scientists will be hosted for 10 days onboard, under the framework of “real hands on experience”; the training activities will focus on sustainable fisheries, ocean floor mapping and marine environmental studies. The Vessel is equipped with conference room, fisheries and multi-purpose laboratories.

5. Eurofleets+ Floating University onboard RV Oceania, IOPAN (Partner 10)
Oceanography (Baltic Sea): 10 early stage scientists will be hosted for 5 days onboard; the vessel will be available for work in the Baltic Sea on route from Gdansk to Tromso. Training activities will include general physical, biological and biogeochemical oceanography and optical oceanography. The equipment installed, deck machinery capacity and layout fulfill all the needs for state of the art scientific field research, training and instrument testing.

A Eurofleets+ ‘Research Vessel Training Toolkit’ will be produced for the course directors containing common procedures and templates, to ensure a standardised approach to course development and ensuring consistent standards and high quality across all Eurofleets+ training. The toolkit will include information on how to produce module descriptors, learning outcomes, organize accreditation/CPD recognition, organize pre- and post-cruise workshops, develop digital learning resources and identify on-board social media and outreach activities. Each Floating University course will be supported by a suite of e-modules.

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