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3-13 January 2023 from Maputo to Cape Town

Advanced Ocean Synergy Training Course 2023



Satellite measurements play an incredibly important role in operational oceanography systems because they provide the quality-synoptic regular repeat data necessary to predict the state of our ocean. The Copernicus initiative, headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date and provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. The Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) uses satellite and in situ measurements of our ocean 24 hours a day, 365 days per year to generate regular and systematic reference information on the physical state, variability and dynamics of the ocean, ice and marine ecosystems for the global ocean and the European regional seas. Its an exciting and huge system bringing the best up-to-date near real time ocean information to everyone free of charge.

Earth Observation satellites we have in place today providing this amazing capability are the product of a huge number of people with a collective vision. Our future capability to monitor, understand and act on ocean issues is predicated on their evolution. Thats where you come in.

We need to empower a future that guarantees highly qualified graduate students, post-docs, engineers, and young career scientists to further innovate and expand the vision of operational oceanography from space. The ESA Advanced Ocean Synergy Training course 2023 (#ESAOTC23) is jointly organised with the “Partnership for Education and Cooperation in Operational Oceanography” (PECO2) project that includes partners from South-Africa, China, France, India and Norway. Implementing education, training and coordination for operational oceanography and marine services and strengthening international partnership is at the heart of #ESAOTC23 that links Space to Our Ocean aboard the tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

Interested? Read on….


The One Ocean Expedition ( with the tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl is contributing to the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences through a 20-month circumnavigation of the globe.

In August 2021, the 107-year-old 98-meter-long tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl departed from Arendal in southern Norway only to return to Bergen (Norway) in April 2023 having sailed 55 000 nautical miles and visited 36 ports worldwide. The ship is equipped with modern instrumentation and will collect high quality data of ocean physics, chemistry and biology continuously throughout the journey. It will also serve as a floating university bringing crews of students and young leaders together at different legs. High level meetings and public events will happen during port visits. Real time access to data, video and TV from the ship will serve to inspire and engage not only scientists but also citizens for ocean-based action towards sustainable development worldwide.

The main goal of the One Ocean Expedition is to create attention and share knowledge about the ocean´s crucial role for a sustainable future in a global perspective. This is an important and timely contribution to the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and its slogan “The science we need for the ocean we want“.
As such the expedition will serve as a powerful tool for outreach, inspiration and engagement for the ocean.

Training Course Information

The Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) and European Space Agency (ESA) are looking forward to embarking Statsraad Lehmkuhl in Maputo, Mozambique for the sail-voyage to Cape Town, South Africa from 3-13 January 2023 (see Figure 1). During this leg of the One Ocean expedition, which is around 1200 nm and takes about 10 days, we will offer an advanced training course in satellite oceanography in support to Marine Services tailored to regional environmental and climate change of the oceans around southern Africa. Sailing along the Agulhas Current, the world´s strongest ocean current, we will study (not exclusive): (i) the air sea interaction; (ii) the ocean current dynamics, variability and transport of heat from the Indian Ocean to the South Atlantic Ocean; (iii) the upper layer marine biology; and (iv) the distribution and concentration of pollutant material.

The training course is jointly organized by the “Partnership for Education and Cooperation in Operational Oceanography” (PECO2) project coordinated and lead by NERSC and the European Space Agency. The ship provides dedicated measurements while on passage including sea surface temperature, pCO2, fluorescence, turbidity, oxygen, salinity, waves, meteorological variables, CTD casts, and net sampling amongst others. These measurements allow fundamental upper ocean features to be monitored and linked to satellite data.

Up to 60 master and PhD students and Post Docs will be offered a berth onboard. The students will be involved in analyzing near real time satellite data in comparison to onboard collected data and ocean model fields. In addition, the students will actively participate in crew-related watches and tasks, making the combined training course and voyage an unforgettable event in more than one way!

Prior to the sail-voyage an introductory virtual training course covering 2-3 hours per week for 10 weeks from September to November 2022 will be offered. This will be mandatory for all selected students and will be using a visualization portal (see Figure 1) designed as a training platform. It will both give the students background knowledge of the content and use of the portal as well as offer opportunities to select specific analyses options that may be well aligned with graduate studies and thesis subject. Both the introductory virtual training course and the onboard training course on Statsraad Lehmkuhl will be run by international recognized expert lecturers.  A broad range of disciplines will be covered in satellite oceanography, upper ocean dynamics, air-sea interaction, coupling of ocean physics to biogeochemistry, marine biology, ocean modelling and data assimilation, and environmental and climate change. The students will be grouped and tasked with delivery of group reports of their analyses and findings. A short report from each Student based on their personal studies using the data collected aboard the ship and from satellite measurements will also be required. The delivery of these reports are mandatory to be granted the Joint Statsraad Lehmkuhl, PECO2 and ESA Training Course Diploma and shall be received no later than by end of March 2023.

During the ongoing One Ocean Expedition, Floatenstein drifters were launched by researcher Lars R. Hole and students from the University of Bergen for verification of significant wave height measurements determined from space.

On line Training Course 2022

Requirements: you will need a computer that you have download rights for, plus a decent internet connection.

A draft timetable is now online, please be aware it is still subject to change.

The proposed day for the course is a Monday, starting 5th September 2022 until the 5th December 2022, running from 16:00 – 19:00 CET. Lectures will be recorded and made available online in case on any missed lessons. More info on the on line training can be consulted at https://otc23.nersc.noOnline Training Course | OTC23: Advanced Ocean Synergy Training Course (

Syntool Visualization Platform

Routine use of the Syntool Visualization Platform will form an essential part of the training course (see Figure 1). The portal allows for highly attractive display and overlay of near real time satellite data together with in-situ data and model fields.  Key variables will include: sea surface temperature, ocean color, surface geostrophic current, near surface wind and ocean waves. Selection of variables to be displayed is controlled by the “Products” menu located to the left. The date and time of selection is controlled by the lower horizontal panel.

Figure 1. Schematic illustration of the sail-voyage from Maputo and Cape Town from 3-13 January 2023.Colors represent the sea surface temperature field. White lines mark the surface current. See for more details.

The viewing options of the Visualization Platform range from global to regional and offers a wide span of variable collocations and overlaying possibilities. Hereunder the position of St. Lehmkuhl will also be made visible on the portal. Moreover, surface drifter trajectories can be displayed on top of the near coincident SST, ocean color, surface roughness and surface current maps clearly demonstrates the strength of this visualization tool both for research and dedicated applications. The visualization portal will also routinely be used for planning and execution of data collection during the sail-voyage.

Eligibility and Terms of Conditions

Student participation in the training course is free of charge. Travel grants at economy class tickets to reach Maputo in Mozambique and return home from Cape Town in South Africa as well as free accommodation onboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl will be offered to all selected students.

20 students from the Member States of the European Space Agency will be sponsored to attend the training course.  In addition up to 40 students and Post Docs will be sponsored under the PECO2 project to participate in the training course (see list of participating institutes, their countries and points of contact together with other priority African countries in Annex A. Participants of the summer school are an important part of the crew on the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, not just passengers, and will be fully involved in sailing the ship. There is limited space on board, so you will sleep safely and well in a hammock, side by side with your fellow sailors. No previous knowledge of sailing is required though and more information an be found in the Life of Board section of the website.

The course website is now We will be continuously updating this so please check here first for information. Some of it is subject to change.

A draft timetable is now online, please be aware it is still subject to change.

The proposed day for the course is a Monday, starting 5th September until the 5th December, running from 16:00 – 19:00 CET. Please let us know if you foresee any major problems with this. We know this is late for our Indian participants but we are limited to when the lecturers are available. Lectures will be recorded and made available online so you are able to catch up on any missed lectures.

Schedule and Deadlines

Applications submission opening04/03/2022
Applications submission extended CLOSED22 March 2022 5 April 2022
20 April 2022
Announcement of selection:
Selected students will be informed by email no later than
31 May 2022 June 2022
Issue of Preliminary Programme

The Application shall be filled out using the online form no later than Tuesday 20th April 2022.

Point of Contact