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Sonja and Jackie in Texas Round 1

By Sonja Bhatia

Jackie and I were lucky enough to be able to attend IEAGHG’s (International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas) CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) International Summer School (http://ieaghg.org/component/content/article/39-content/education/433-summer-school-2014). The summer school was in Austin, TX this year and students from all over the world attended.  Unlike a conference setting, where it’s sometimes difficult to get into extended conversations with world leaders in your topic, we had unlimited access to experts in CCS from all over the globe. Some had backgrounds in industry, others were academics, and still others came from government. The school was also a great opportunity to learn from other students and make friends with people from different cultures and disciplines. The school fostered a collaborative environment by organizing us into multi-disciplinary teams to work together to build consensus in an intercultural setting on a CCS-related topic. Just to show how truly international the school was, in my group alone there were students from Canada, Portugal, Hungary, India, China and Indonesia, and our group had designated mentors from Norway and Texas.

Photo Credit: Csilla Kiraly

The group work was definitely one of the highlights for me. The school was a really intense experience and we worked hard, attending lectures and participated in group work from early morning to well into the evening.

… but we had some time for fun too!  We took part in Austin culture, experienced some real southern cooking, good music and learned some line dancing. Jackie, a Texas native, showed us all how it was done and won best dancer!

 Photo Credit: Akinola Oranjrewaju

Photo Credit: Csilla Kiraly

We also went out on 6th St. Austin’s famous street with live music and tonnes of bars, and some of us got some very environmentally friendly rides home!

 Photo Credit: Chiara Marieni

I’d highly recommend this experience to anyone working in CCS or studying a CCS-related topic!!!

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