17th October 2010.
I got to meet Dr Rahul Sharma, program co-coordinator and head of the training program here at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa, India. According to Dr. Sharma, this is the second year for the TAP-MAR program and unlike last year , this year’s group is much younger and more energetic. This year’s group include Miss Suzan El-Gharapawy, an assistant lecturer from Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Mrs. Wahiebah Hoosain, a junior scientist with the Marine geo-science unit in Cape Town, South Africa, Miss Schery Umanzor, a genetic lab technician from Costa Rica and myself.
From the brief program description we had over dinner last night, the first two weeks will include three daily sessions where in two of the three sessions, we get to hear what different scientists here had to say about their research and one three hour afternoon session where we get to have a hands on experience using different instruments from the various fields of marine sciences they have here. After the two weeks, we get to choose a project and work with a chosen research group of our choice. In the end we get to submit a report of what we have learnt here.
According to Dr Sharma, this program started a few years ago when he was in Nigeria giving a talk about what they do at India’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). The unique thing about India’s NIO that made it the best candidate for the International Seabed Authority to involve in its quest to provide technical assistance for marine scientific research to people in the developing world was that it was a “Developing country” that had the expertise and technical support to back it up putting it in the best position to act as a bridge between scientific research in the developed world and that in the developing world.
A full list of the marine scientific research programs they do here at NIO will be posted after our orientation but from what we were told last night, they had research interests spanning almost all the fields in oceanography that I have heard of, they even have two Antarctic Research stations and one in the Arctic.