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Presentations gave a broader picture of environmental issues and new ideas for further research projects

Henri Students Iies International Institute For Environmental Studies

Student Perspective

By: Henri Hakkarainen, PhD Candidate | University of Eastern Finland, Finland

October 2022 was my first participation in the International Institute for Environmental Studies Annual Science and Policy Workshop. The conference took place in the beautiful city of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was followed by the Graduate Student Forum at Phu Quoc island. Interestingly (and lucky for me) is that Vietnam is one of the countries I have wanted to visit for over a decade. Both the conference and Vietnam surpassed all my expectations.

Henri Students Iies International Institute For Environmental Studies

One of the essential aspects of the Workshop, networking, was easy, and I think I got to know most of the people attending. The organizers also planned activities for the attendees, such as the ice-breaker event, gala night, and a field trip to Phu Quoc, where the Graduate Student Forum took place. These all also worked as practical networking opportunities.

Image: Henri and fellow graduate students at the conference

Speaking about these activities, some of those were something which, at least so far, have been quite a unique experience for conferences. Especially the field trip at Phu Quoc and snorkelling at coral reefs were lovely, even though I wish we had been able to go hiking in the jungle as well.

Concerning my scientific input at the Science and Policy Workshop, I had two different presentations at the conference, which gave me essential experience and insights for other presentations. There were not too many presentations from a similar field as mine, which gave me knowledge on informing the science I’m doing so that everyone can understand it.

Image: Henri presenting his talk Toxicity of ultrafine particles from two distinct fuels using in vitro ALI exposure system

Henri Presentation Iies International Institute For Environmental Studies

I also wish there would have been more researchers from my field of Environmental Health, hopefully, next year. Presentations from other areas were fascinating and gave a broader picture of environmental issues and new ideas for further research projects (hint for the possible collaborators).

After The Rain Iies International Institute For Environmental Studies

After a walk in the rain, we arrived at our Icebreaker event. Through our shared circumstances and much laughter, we got to know each other quickly.

Overall, I would highly recommend the IIES Science and Policy Workshop and Graduate Student Forum for everyone from the environmental research field. There were representatives from multiple areas of environmental science, and you could get a global picture of how different environmental challenges are being studied. 

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