by Lina Teckentrup
The 11th Annual Summer Course in Flux Measurements and Advanced Modelling was held during July 2019 at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. After minor obstacles – i.e. the cancellation of the flight from Sydney to Vancouver and omnipresent panic from all passengers affected – I arrived in Denver two hours earlier than expected. The following day, the instructors picked us up from Boulder and brought us to the mountain research station.  

All participants of the summer school had different backgrounds, ranging from remote sensing to fieldwork with flux towers and leaf-level measurements up to modelling. This variety in backgrounds was also reflected in the schedule that was carefully planned out by our instructors. The two weeks of the summer school were therefore very dense but in the most positive way possible: While we visited lectures in the mornings to get the necessary theoretical background, we were given choices for group activities in the afternoons to further learn about the topics we were interested in the most. Among others, we studied how to measure leaf-level gas exchange and biochemistry, canopy fluxes, how to set up flux towers and process and analyze the produced data, the basic concepts of ecosystem modelling as well as data assimilation.

Outside the schedules, the lecturers were very keen to get to know the participants, and always happy to answer questions that came up throughout the lectures.  While the instructors of the summer school put a lot of effort in providing us with knowledge in the various fields of ecosystem science, they made sure social activities did not come up short. Most evenings, both instructors and participants came together after dinner and engaged in jam sessions. On the weekend, we went on a hike in the Rocky Mountains and on a rafting trip. 

The Flux Course is a great opportunity to network with PhD students and postdocs as well as with experts and provides a detailed fundamental knowledge in both measuring and modelling terrestrial ecosystem fluxes.