NINA: Week 1

NINA logo

I am finally at the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA) in their freshwater ecology department so let me tell you a little bit about it. But allow me, first, to describe how I arrived here.

So from Oslo to the airport, there is a high speed train (much like, i assume, HS2 will be like) which took inside of 30 minutes to get there. Following the instruction that i was given by the information desk at the sentralstasjon, there should be a ticket machine on the platform. There wasn’t any. So i just got on the train, hoping not to get kicked off. As the ”train conductor” came through the carriage; who by the way was only counting the number of passengers after each stop. I felt a similar feeling that Resistance/Allied fighters during WWII must have felt when SS or Gestapo officers walked passed. That Anxious, body freezing fear that, at a moments notice is check mate. Just by looking at them. Shouldn’t have gone to the Norwegian Resistance Museum. But no, there was a ticket machine on the exiting platform and after walking around aimlessly in the vain hope to ask a employee, i managed to get into the airport and check in.

NINA has a Let My People Go Surfing feeling to the place without going to California to compare.

The flight with Norwegian Air to Trondheim (TRD) is on par with Icelandic Air if you have ever flown with them. This is a monumental leap forward from the likes of easyJet and Ryanair for short domestic flights. But still no food. Arriving in TRD, it was only the finial (empty) coach journey to the bus stop outside of NINA and the Rosenborg Stadium.

So first impressions of NINA:

  • Free coffee and fruit.
  • Flexible hours
  • Chilled and very relaxed. Let My People Go Surfing vibe.
  • You can walk around bare foot. Even to the canteen.

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So my first week on my placement. Here is a brief overview of events so not to bore you.

31/7: Walked in to the lobby/reception at 1:30pm and asked for Odd, my placement contact and waited all of 60 seconds after the phone was put down. So filled in a visitors pass and got a brief tour of the building and an introduction to the team who had already come back off holiday. I’ve got a desk with some fellow TEOS interns, from which i started work on my dissertation research. If anyone knows me really well, they know i start things early. But this is very early. A year early. Oh, Odd is a Coregonus specialist by the way.

As a tangent; the legal paperwork/procedure was a bit of a headache, so to prevent this section from getting bogged down, i will do another post about it later.

DSC_01671/8: First full day. So started at 9 am, lunch at 11 am. This needs a bit of explaining i feel. The canteen which cook awesome and ‘cheap’ food, opens at 11, and the department goes for lunch before everyone else and it has become a form of tradition/habit. After lunch, i proof read a paper in response to the publishers as there was a need for a native speaker to edit the text/grammar. So that fell to me. 3 hrs later, i continued to format my dissertation master document. Then had an inter-precipitation BBQ with the interns at a small beach to watch the sunset over the bay.

2/8: As a thought, not as anything towards the staff; ‘i feel like this is pointless as i am just sitting here working on my dissertation which i could do at home’ but reflecting on this thought, we are all adjusting…

To compound the current state of mind, i forgot to bring my other notebook with my FBA notes in, whilst beginning the bane of all dissertations; the literature review.

3/8 and 4/8: These were much the same with me reading and making more notes on Coregonus albula starting at 9am or later. But whilst reading well into the evening on night, some other researchers also doing the same, offered to get a burger for me as well as them. This was a welcomed break and some time to get to know them. Like i said the work place is pretty relaxed. As long as you get the work done on time it will be alright.

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