The Sun and the Earth: Interactions During Geomagnetic Storms

by Chukwuma Anoruo
The field of solar-terrestrial interactions, the interplay between the Sun and other planetary bodies in the solar system, is a fascinating area of research. My knowledge about this subject as a doctoral student now spans three years. The line of my research delves into the study of major disturbances (geomagnetic storms) of the Earth’s magnetic region (extending from the Earth’s interior out into space) that occur whenever there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding the Earth. Geomagnetic storms have unique characteristics, and no two storms have the same behavior. Here, I try to study distinctive characteristics of storms’ strength on the electron content of the ionosphere and its trans-ionospheric disturbance of radio signal propagation. This usually has a heavy impact on the Global Positioning System (GPS), causing signal errors and space weather perturbation. This action relative to storm strength cause…

Fieldwork in The Highlands of Northern Chile: a Photographic Journey

by Ignacio Jara

PrefaceAs the first year of my postdoc at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones in La Serena, Chile, was coming to an end, we went on our first field trip to northern Chile. We explored the highlands of the Atacama Desert and the Altiplano (Fig. 1) in December 2019 to collect two different types of paleoecological archives: fossil rodent middens and lake sediments. These samples will become the core material for my postdoc project, which focuses on reconstructing the last 4,000 years of climate evolution of this fascinating region.

Instrumental climate records in Chile — and the Southern Hemisphere in general — are sparse and very short in time, which implies that climate projections for these regions rely almost exclusively on brief and incomplete datasets. As such, paleoclimate studies like the one I am conducting are highly relevant today because they offer a longer-term climate context to understand current changes and trends.
After our return from the field, …

Do You Know How To Collaborate?

by Annette Sophie Bösmeier

Nowadays, academic success is hardly imaginable without being part of research collaborations. However, we as early-career researchers may not be fully aware of the significance, the benefits or the potential challenges of collaborative work when getting started with our doctoral program. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience both the fruitful and the more challenging aspects of collaboration myself, and I would now like to share this experience and lessons learned with you.
A guide for early-career researchers  In July 2019 I had the fantastic chance to meet more than 50 other PhD students from all over the world. We were brought together by a summer school organized by LERU (League of European Research Universities) and hosted by the University of Edinburgh. The theme of the week-long summer school, Building Research Capacity and a Collaborative Global Community, specifically focused on integrating international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral …

Between Muck and a Hard Place: Balancing the Roles of ECR and PI

by Katherine Glover

Conceiving New ResearchAs a postdoc, I find that a single day’s to-do list often visits past, present and future work. There is the project you are hired for and new skills to learn, repackaging dissertation work for publication, and conceiving new research for grant proposals and job talks. This time last year, I was immersed in my first grant proposal to the National Geographic Society Early Career Program. This program supports new investigations, with a high proportion of the budget devoted to fieldwork expenses. Changes to the program in the past few years have included expanded funding, and there is now no age restriction. Complementary programs, particularly in Geography Education, can support your outreach and external capacity ideas. Once funded, there are extensive resources available within the NGS community, including an online community, webinars, events for Explorers to showcase their work and network, affording valuable networking and research opport…