The directors of the respective degree programs presented the “brand new” Masters and Ph.D.’s from Meteorology, Physical Oceanography, Geophysics, the Earth Sciences and the School of Integrated Climate System Sciences graduate program with their diplomas. As the topics of the graduates’ theses were announced, the impressive range became clear: from the interactions between sea ice and the atmosphere, to organisms in deep-sea coral reefs, to the use of renewable energies in China.
Prof. Claudia Leopold, Vice-President of Universität Hamburg, opened the evening’s festivities, dispelling the stereotype that universities merely produce academics who retreat into their ivory towers instead of preparing students for real life. “I am convinced that our CEN graduates have learned enough during their time with us to allow them to master the next phase of their professional and personal development with flying colors,” Leopold stated. Beyond traits like determination and humility, she especially emphasized the importance of integrative thinking, which allows young academics to take networked and interdisciplinary approaches to their work.
In his speech Prof. Dirk Gajewski, Deputy Director of the CEN, referred to German astronaut Dr. Alexander Gerst, who completed his Ph.D. in Hamburg. The geophysicist worked on the ISS space station from June to November 2014, fulfilling a lifelong dream. “Alexander Gerst’s example shows us that it’s worthwhile to pursue your dream. No mountain is so high that we can’t at least try to overcome it,” said Gajewski.
Following the ceremony the graduates, together with roughly 100 colleagues, friends and relatives wrapped up the evening at the generous buffet. The event was made possible by the financial support of the “Friends and Supporters of the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability” association.