A visit at the first IIES Graduate Students Forum Asia

In this post, Verena Sesin reports on her participation in the first IIES Graduate Students Forum Asia 2017 themed “Application of Environmental Science in Environmental Remediation” in Hong Kong.

In November 2017, I travelled to Hong Kong to attend the IIES Graduate Students Forum Asia organized by the International Institute for Environmental Studies (IIES). This small-scale forum was a perfect opportunity to meet other graduate students in the field of environmental remediation and share current research questions. It was great to discuss approaches with participants from China, Canada, the United States and Scotland which also shows that environmental remediation is a global hot topic.

Group photo of the first IIES Graduate Students Forum Asia (photo by G. W. Batoff)

Presenting my research (photo by T. Li)

The forum was kindly hosted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology which stands out due to various well-equipped research labs and a beautiful campus by the ocean. In this atmosphere each graduate student presented their research in a 10-minute talk following a short discussion. The talks covered various topics including organic pollutants, nutrients, heavy metals and nanoparticles with focus on biological and chemical remediation techniques, specific applications and implications for risk management. The scientific program was accompanied by social activities such as a campus tour guided by students and a delicious seafood dinner. Thanks to our wonderful and generous hosts we could experience Hong Kong from a local and student’s perspective.

View from the Dragon’s Back trail (photo by V. Sesin)

Most of us even spent additional time in Hong Kong to explore the island and surrounding areas. In busy downtown we went for a walk through the Temple Street Night Market and watched the Symphony of Lights show illuminating Hong Kong’s skyline. We also visited several traditional cultural places and hiked on the Dragon’s Back trail for a beautiful coastal scenic view. All in all, this forum and trip was an amazing experience and I am looking forward to the next IIES conference in 2018.

Hong Kong skyline at night (photo by G. W. Batoff)