Time spent at sea is a key part of the training plan of iMAGE-CREATE, which supports participation of early career geoscientists on international research expeditions. Our partners at GEOMAR, FAU and BGR spend more than 500 days at sea every year, representing significant opportunities for training of CREATE students. A ship-time registry is being developed to identify training opportunities with our partners and with other organizations such as the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR), InterRidge, Eurofleets, and the Ocean Facilities Exchange Group (OFEG).
At Sea, iMAGE-CREATE trainees learn complex research logistics, such as shipping of gear, health and safety, and security. Most travel around the world to join their research cruises, often in challenging locations and conditions. These are transformative experiences that teach both hard and soft skills particularly attractive for employers. They are exposed to issues at the interface between science and policy, including regulatory aspects of resource development, socio-economic and environmental impacts, and public education. And, they learn to be ambassadors for Canada in international research teams. Trainees at sea maintain blogs for iMAGE-CREATE and participate in broadcasting “Live at Sea” (see TRAINING “AT SEA”) where broadband is implemented on board.
In the last 7 years, more than 50 students (German and Canadian) have participated on 30 research expeditions led by the partners. In 2019-20 alone, students from uOttawa and GEOMAR spent 190 days at sea on 6 cruises in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. In the next 6-7 years, we anticipate at least 15 additional cruises (300-400 days of ship time) dedicated to projects directly relevant to the CREATE.