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Report from eMaris kick-off meeting in Bremen PDF Print
Monday, 28 November 2011 00:00

TEMPUS programme: new project has been started in Bremen

A kick-off meeting of representatives of the Universities - participants of the new project in frames of the European educational programme TEMPUS was held on November 17-18, 2011 in the town of Bremen in the north of Germany. The project is devoted to the development of «Enhanced three-level competency-based curricula in Applied Marine Science», in short - «eMaris». Besides Bremen University the project involves the Universities of Cadiz (Spain), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Kaliningrad and St.Petersburg (Russia); St.Petersburg is represented by two universities - Russian State Hydrometeorological University (RSHU), State Marine Technical University (SMTU) and Academic Association of Universities for Hydrometeorology (AAU). The head University of the project is RSHU. The project goal is to form a three-level educational programme for students in applied marine sciences according to the “bachelor level – master level - PhD level” system.

Another participant of the meeting besides the representatives of the Universities listed above was Prof. Vladimir Ryabchenko who is the head of laboratory in St.Petersburg branch of P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS. The laboratory will play an important role in the scientific supervision of PhD students in frames of the project at the final stage of the three-level programme.

St.Petersburg delegation (Alexander Averkiev from AAU, Tatjana Eremina and Mikhail Shilin from RSHU, V.Ryzhov from SMTU and Vladimir Ryabchenko from IORAS) arrived to the Hanseatic city of Bremen in the evening of November 16 and could have a short look at the city central square with its 600-year old Town hall building (Fig.1) and adjacent narrow medieval streets where the famous Bremen Town Musicians were earning their bread centuries ago (Fig.2).

Figure 1 – 600-year old Bremen Town hall

Figure 2 – Here they are – the famous Bremen Town Musicians!

A two-day programme of the meeting was held in a usual oversaturated European style. Participants of the round-table meeting have been busy from 9.00 to 18.00 having only short coffee-breaks and a lunch in between (Fig.3 and 4).

The main subjects of the workshop were:

- acquaintance of the main executors of the project, formation of the team-spirit;

- discussion of the project chapters, terms of their execution, obligations and responsibilities of the members;

- specification of works according to the project plan;

- defining the rules of collaboration of partners in frames of the project.

Figure 3 and 4 – Launch of the new TEMPUS project: first discussions. English is a universal language for all nationalities.

At the opening of the first work day representatives of Bremen Universities, Prof. Dr. Manfred Wischnewsky, Dr. Yildiray Ogurol and Dr. Jun Zhao expressed their confidence in the final success of the project as a result of the high scientific qualification of all partners and great experience of participation in international projects. Representative of the International Department, Barbara Hazenmueller presented international programmes where Bremen University takes part. Other reports presented included presentations of Bremen University representatives, Dr. Igor Novopashenny (“Project activities and expected results”) and Dr. Jun Zhao (“Funding rules in frames of the Project”) and representing AAU the dean of RSHU oceanography faculty Dr. Alexander Averkiev (“Educational programmes in RSHU and previous experience of participation in TEMPUS projects”) and Dr. Tatjana Eremina (“Project work plan for WP1 and WP2”). Then followed the reports on WP3 (V.Ryzhov) and WP4 (Vladimir Ryabchenko).

Experts from RSHU prepared a special questionnaire for potential employers that can be used for analysis of market requirements in experts in applied marine sciences. The questionnaire was composed by the RSHU members M.Shilin and G.Gogoberidze and RSHU PhD students. After its lively discussion the decision was made to use the questionnaire as a major instrument for labour market analysis.

The information-rich presentation of the representatives of University of Cadiz, Dr. Anhel del Valls and Dr. Alfredo Isquierdo, included the idea of necessity to form the unique scientific ideology and terminology in frames of the project. It was mentioned that even such widely used terms as “ecology” and “fishing” have different interpretation in opinion of Russian and West-European partners. Besides that, representatives of University of Cadiz showed their positive experience of solving the organizational and financial issues occurring during the joint works implementation.

Dr. Inga Dailidiene from Lithuania made an interesting presentation on possibilities of summer field training for students participating in the project on the study sail-boat of the University of Klaipeda. Dr. Tatjana Kolesnik from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University told about the activities of this university.

Finally, at the end of the first work day the logo of the project was chosen.

During the second day members of the meeting visited the departments of Bremen University working in applied marine sciences, including the Educational Multimedia Centre EMMC (Zentrum fuer Multimedia in der Lehre, ZMML) that offers its services for preparation of multimedia lecture courses. Each teacher from St.Petersburg team could try to not only give lecture impromptu but also to choose the appropriate background for his/her presentation – from monotonous colour to beautiful landscape (Fig.5).

Figure 5 – Working in front of the TV-camera in Educational Multimedia Centre

Figure 6 – Examination and Test Centre in EMMC

Also the project members visited the computerized Examination and Test Centre (Fig.6) where they had a possibility to feel themselves students again trying to answer the questions of a complex experimental electronic “all-sciences” test. The experience of using of computer tests was decided to be applied in the project.

All guests of the marine laboratory of Bremen University were highly amazed: Marine Tropical Ecology Centre (MTEC) is dealing with modeling of processes of coral communities’ succession (Fig.7). Researchers of the centre think that coral reefs today have a definitive role in supporting the carbon balance in water and air environment. Another object of their research is mangroves (Fig.8).

Figure 7 – Several tens of coral species are cultivated in aquariums with seawater

Figure 8 – Mangroves in the MTEC lab

Centre for Deepwater Drilling contains the world largest collection of bottom sediment samples taken in various parts of the World Ocean. Long kerns contain information on multimillion-year history of sediment accumulation. The greenish stripe attracted the guests’ view – it appeared in sediments after the fall of a giant meteorite in the area of modern Yucatan Peninsula (Fig.9), the one that finished the Dinosaur Era.

Figure 9 – Cross-section of the kern taken from the bottom of the Mexican Gulf: right side – Dinosaur Era, middle – traces of atmosphere pollution, dinosaurs dying out, right side – dinosaurs are extinct.

The meeting was finalized in the Town hall where the participants started to get to know Bremen 2 days ago. Very warm and optimistic words were said on the role of the project in the development of the Bologna Process, in renewal of study programs of all participating universities, in growth of student mobility and raising the quality of their professional learning (Fig. 10). Undoubtedly, the project opens new perspectives for staff collaboration of Universities of Russia and Western Europe and gives excellent opportunities for students to have interesting exchange trips, to make new contacts and ensure the sharp growth of knowledge. As a result of the Kick-off meeting all participants have the defined role in the project and terms of execution that will ensure the well-balanced work in frames of the project.

Figure 10 – Final dinner with discussion of further collaboration

Text by Prof. M.Shilin (RSHU)

Photos by Dr. A.Averkiev (RSHU), Dr. V.Ryzhov (SMTU)


Main Partners

University of Bremen

St. Petersburg State Marine Technical University
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology

Klaipeda University
University of Cádiz
Academic Association of RF Universities in Hydrometeorology