History of Shipboard Training Initiatives


In 2001, POGO issued its “Sao Paulo Declaration”, which called upon the world leaders of government, industry, science, and education, to devote necessary attention and appropriate resources to extending ocean observing systems in the Southern Hemisphere.  A direct and rapid response to this call for action was made by POGO member JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology), who organised in 2003 a circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere: the Blue Earth Global Expedition (BEAGLE) on-board its research vessel Mirai.  Three trainees were accommodated on each leg of the cruise. Accordingly, POGO, the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group, IOCCG, and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, IOC, awarded a number of scholarships for young scientists to participate and to receive hands-on training on board the RV Mirai. All on-board expenses and berth fees for the trainees and bio-optical specialists were covered by JAMSTEC.

In 2008, POGO started to collaborate with the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme led by Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the UK. Together, they set up a Special Visiting Fellowship for training on-board the AMT cruise. The fellowship was modelled on the POGO-SCOR Visiting Fellowship in ocean observations, with the addition of a 6-week cruise participation component. The fellowship also includes 1 month prior to the cruise to contribute to the cruise preparations, and one month after the cruise to conduct sample analyse and data interpretation. In many cases the fellowship has led to continued collaboration, and resulted in a joint publication between the trainee and the supervisor.


The Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) is an award winning marine education and training programme based in Ireland that specialises in providing applied, research vessel-based training in multidisciplinary ocean science for third-level students of marine-related science and technology. Since, 2011, SMART partners have pooled infrastructure, facilities and expertise to train over 1,500 students in the cross-disiplanary skills required to operate and carry out research at sea.  This collabooarative model of providing access to research vessel infrastructure, along with an array of inter-institutional, accredited courses, delivered by a dedicated team of on-board scientists, is key to developing the next generation of ocean professionals.

Collaboration between POGO, SMART and AWI:

Since 2014, POGO, SMART and AWI have collaborated on a number of joint postgraduate research vessel-based courses and summer schools delivered in Ireland, Germany, and South Africa. These include:

  1. The Atlantic Summer School (2014) on-board RV Celtic Explorer for 15 postgraduate students from 8 countries investigating Cold-water Coral Ecosystems, SW Ireland.
  2. In 2015 & 2016, the “Floating Summer School” on the North South Atlantic Transect (NoSoAT) provided training during a five-week long transit from Bremerhaven (Germany) to Cape Town (South Africa) investigating ocean-climate interactions. In total 34 students (8 supported by NF-POGO) from 19 countries received training via a combination of lectures, hands-on training and student presentations. A second NoSoAT training cruise was conducted in 2016.
  3. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme (2016), a ten-day Summer School delivered to 24 International postgraduates in Galway, Ireland 2016.

Together, all these initiatives have shaped the development of the Ocean Training Partnership concept.


Click here to read more about students who have participated in our shipboard training programmes


Our institute has recently acquired a new multidisciplinary research vessel "Sindhu Sadhana" and I am sure that my training on the AMT will help me immensely in collecting data for my PhD during the various scientific cruises that will be conducted in the coming years. Furthermore […], very few people in NIO use remote sensing in combination with in-situ measurements to understand the physical and biological properties in the ocean. Through this training, I got many pertinent inputs to bridge this gap and contribute to the development of optical oceanography in my institute.”

Ankita Misra, National Institute of Oceanography, India. POGO-AMT fellow (2013).