Chemistry collaborations for early career scientists

November 8, 2018 by Dan Haves

Rachel Hems, a 5th-year PhD student in the Abbatt Group, had a unique opportunity this fall to be part of a small group of early career scientists hoping to forge international collaborations in their fields. 

Rachel was invited to participate in the 2018 iCACGP/IGAC Early Career Short Course in Shodoshima, Japan. She was one of only 40 early career atmospheric scientists to attend the three-day course. The sessions ranged in topic from science policy to the future of atmospheric chemistry.

iCACGP and IGAC say the aim of their program is to “foster professional friendship and collaboration among the future leaders of atmospheric chemistry research.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever met so many people from such a diverse number of backgrounds,” Rachel says. “Cote D’Ivoire, Bangladesh, India, China, Finland, Australia, Brazil, almost every part of the world was represented. It was a chance for me to share my work and to learn from others that I would never have otherwise met.”

The short course preceded the 2018 joint 14th iCACGP Quadrennial Symposium/15th IGAC Science Conference in Takamatsu, Japan, which Rachel also attended and presented her work on atmospheric oxidation of 'brown carbon' from wood smoke.

The conference, which was attended by more than 700 atmospheric chemistry and global pollution researchers, was an opportunity for Rachel see the wide-ranging impact of the chemistry she hopes to be exploring in her career.

“It was great to get a picture of how the work we’re doing informs policy,” she says. “And it was also really nice to be reminded that the work you’re doing is not being done in isolation.”

This opportunity was made possible with funding from the University of Toronto Centre for Global Change Science’s Graduate Student Award Program.