In September of this year, I attended the WATSON Training School on Isotopic Tracer and Labelling Experiments. Nestled in the picturesque Florencia countryside, this event unfolded against the backdrop of the lovely Chianti hills. Getting to the training school was easy, thanks to the helpful arrangements made by the organizers. They provided clear and useful transportation options, including ride-shares from the local village to the accommodation. One of the standout aspects of the WATSON Training School was the careful selection of participants. The organisers strategically handpicked attendees to create a dynamic group with diverse interests and strengths. This deliberate curation of the cohort fostered an environment of collaboration and networking that was both enriching and enjoyable. I had the pleasure of making new contacts and forging connections that I believe will be invaluable in the future.
The structure of the Training School was particularly effective. We kicked things off with theory lectures at the beginning of the event, providing us with essential tracer background knowledge. What made this training experience unique was the opportunity to immediately apply what we had learned in the lectures, straight away in the fieldwork. Our dye tracing field site was conveniently located less than 200 meters from our accommodations, allowing us to make the most of our time during the training school. After conducting our labelling experiments, we engaged in open discussions to explore the data we had collected. This aspect of the Training School was a highlight for me. The discussion environment was incredibly welcoming and open to participants from all fields. It provided a platform for sharing ideas, insights, and perspectives.
In conclusion, my time at the WATSON Training School was an enriching experience. From the stunning location to the engaging discussions and hands-on learning. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.