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IODP³ Workshop 2024

Fresh tuna “catch of the day” in Nachikatsuura

Japan Visit Report – Ethan Petrou (DPhil Candidate in Earth Sciences, University of Oxford)

Participating in the Workshop on the Future of Scientific Ocean Drilling: Advancing Drilling Proposals for IODP³ (International Ocean Discovery Programme), held in Nachikatsuura, Japan, in March 2024, has been an enriching and transformative experience for me. As an Early-Career Researcher UK representative nominated by the European Ocean Research Drilling Programme (ECORD), I had the privilege of contributing to crucial discussions shaping the future trajectory of ocean science drilling. Something that is uncertain at present due to the closing of the current IODP programme and funding. Ocean science drilling is crucial because it provides access to unique, undisturbed samples that offer invaluable insights into Earth’s history, climate dynamics, and the processes shaping our planet’s geology and ecosystems. This workshop provided a platform to engage with researchers from around the world, exchange ideas, and collaborate on innovative drilling concepts. Despite not directly aligning with my DPhil research as an isotopic marine geochemist, the insights gained from this workshop have significantly broadened my perspective on ocean science and deepened my professional network.

Coastal landscape at Nachikatsuura with shinto shrine

Attending this workshop has not only enhanced my understanding of the field but has also positioned me as a proactive and influential figure within the scientific community. Serving on the steering committee to shape the future direction of ocean science drilling has honed my leadership skills and exposed me to strategic planning at a global scale. I am grateful for the support of University College Oxford and the Ferard and Leney fund in enabling me to attend this workshop, as it has been instrumental in my growth as an international scientist specializing in ocean science drilling. The knowledge and connections gained from this experience will undoubtedly contribute to my continued success and impact in my future career endeavours.

Moreover, the workshop provided a unique opportunity to immerse myself in Japanese culture and explore the vibrant coastal, fishing town of Nachikatsuura. Engaging with local scientists and stakeholders enriched my cultural understanding and broadened my perspectives beyond the scientific realm. The serene coastal setting served as an inspiring backdrop for collaborative discussions and facilitated a conducive environment for forging lasting professional relationships.

Presentation at the IODP3 workshop

Exploring the impeccable geological features of the area on the workshop fieldtrips provided a unique backdrop for collaborative discussions, fostering an environment conducive to forging lasting professional networks. Additionally, the exchange of ideas and experiences with delegates representing approximately 100 countries fostered a sense of global camaraderie and solidarity in our shared pursuit of advancing scientific knowledge through ocean drilling.

Overall, the workshop experience in Nachikatsuura was not only intellectually stimulating but also culturally enriching, leaving a lasting impact on my personal and professional development.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 7 June 2024

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