Suitcase packed, 14-hour flight, welcome to Seoul! In this post, Verena reports on her experiences at the 5th Annual IIES Science & Policy Workshop at Korea University in November 2019.
I was very excited to participate in this year’s International Institute for Environmental Studies‘ (IIES) Annual Workshop, knowing that this event is a perfect opportunity to chat and connect with passionate students and experts in environmental studies and beyond! Fostering exchange and collaboration across continents and disciplines, IIES events have been my favorite gatherings throughout my graduate school journey.
The scientific program included plenary talks during the morning and afternoon sessions, a poster social, and ten thematic sessions, such as “Environmental policy”, “Waste and water management”, “Environmental remediation”, and “Collaborative research within the IIES”. We could learn from speakers from a variety of disciplines, ranging from analytical chemistry to circular economy, ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental risk assessment and policy.
Graduate students could choose to present their research in a poster or a 15-minute talk. I decided to share recent results of my study looking at glyphosate fate and persistence in wetland plants. I was happy to receive great questions and valuable feedback from my audience.
Certainly, feedback from an interdisciplinary audience helps you to think about new ways to approach your data, or to find out about new techniques to add to your technical toolbox. When finding peers with similar interests and complimentary expertise, this is also a great opportunity to combine forces and create a collaboration!
On one of my free evenings, a couple of students and I decided to visit the historical Gyeongbokgung Palace which is the largest of all five palaces in Seoul, and said to be the most beautiful. We also walked through the nearby Bukchon Hanok Village, which is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called “hanok”, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty.
To sum up, my days in Seoul have been a wonderful time, meeting old and new peers, and exchanging ideas and advice. A huge thanks to our hosts and the IIES for organizing this forum and workshop in Seoul, and providing generous travel support that enabled me to make these experiences and share them with you.