International Aquatic Endeavors

french researchers
December 5, 2018

Visiting scholars from a French research institute collaborate with UMD.

It’s not every day that Assistant Professor Katie Schreiner, from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has the opportunity to work with colleagues from another continent. Two faculty members, Laurence Vidal and Thibault de Garidel-Thoron from a cooperating school in Aix en Provence, France, were in Duluth on November 26 and 27 to continue work with Katie. Their research center in France, CEREGE, stands for European Centre for Research and Teaching in Environmental Geosciences.

Doug Ricketts gives a tour of UMD's Blue Heron research vessel.
Doug Ricketts (center) gives a tour of UMD's Blue Heron research vessel.

This semester, students in UMD's Water Resources Science graduate program collaborated with CEREGE students remotely, working with each other and participating in peer reviews. The collaboration is funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

“Part of our obligation with the NSF grant is to expand the reach of our work here,” Katie explains. “Environmental challenges facing aquatic species are increasingly global in nature. This international collaboration, both in research and teaching methods, broadens understanding among all participants.”

During Laurence and Thibault’s visit, they made plans for the future of the program. They discussed travel options and possible student exchanges. They also observed a student-initiated “flipped classroom” style of teaching and saw UMD’s grad students in action. They watched UMD students working in groups and leading a discussion about a variety of cycles of different types of lakes.

“UMD is pleased to host these guests as we learn together,” says Erik Brown, associate vice chancellor for graduate education & research. “LLO’s research has global implications and this visit is another step in a collaboration that supports the teaching and research missions of both institutions.”

Doug Ricketts, marine superintendent, gave the group a tour of UMD’s research vessel the Blue Heron and explained the unique research opportunities provided by Lake Superior.

Photo above: (l-r) UMD's Erik Brown and Katie Schreiner tour the Blue Heron research vessel with Laurence Vidal and Thibault de Garidel-Thoron.

About UMD's Large Lakes Observatory