The Bachelor Environmental Sciences with a specialisation in Environmental technology was much to Gerda van Wesel’s liking. So much, that the Master Environmental Sciences with again a specialisation in Environmental Technology, was the only logical next step. “Frankly, it was so obvious for me that I did not even really have a good thought about it ..."
The Master Environmental Sciences indeed turned out to be a good choice for Gerda. "There is a lot of room for doing optional courses on whatever subject one likes. If one did not do the bachelor of Environmental Sciences, one should fill part of it with some compulsory courses, but these are fun and useful as well. And there will be plenty of room for optional courses left. So if one starts the Master Environmental Sciences, ones future isn’t quite confined yet. Therefore it is very helpful to have some idea of one’s interests in advance, otherwise that freedom of choice is immense!" Not just in content but also organisation-wise the Master Environmental Sciences suits Gerda well. "In the first year one will follow courses, in the second year one will work on a thesis for half a year and do an internship the other half. This allows one to fully focus on graduation, rather than having to write a thesis during one’s internship."
"Wageningen is but a small town, which owes to its accessibility and open atmosphere. One can go to all the associations and there is no pigeonhole culture, really. That makes Wageningen as a student city very nice!"
"My thesis is about combining biological soil sanitation and thermal storage. This combination is fantastic because one saves energy and cleans the soil in one go! My research focuses specifically on the influence of redox conditions in the soil to accelerate biological sanitation. If the soil for instance has a high iron content, the iron rather than harmful chlorinated hydrocarbons will be reduced. Therefore all iron must be reduced first before the bacteria can reduce such contaminants. In order to learn to investigate such problems, I first assisted on the research of my supervisor. Then I did some experiments for my own research. There is more to it than I thought because the quantities and methods are unknown. But I really like to experiment with that in the lab. If something goes wrong, one can only learn!"