Alumniverhaal

Alumna Linda Kooijmans – MSc Earth and Environment

In 2008 I started the bachelor Soil, Water, Atmosphere. For as long as I can remember I have been interested in meteorology so it was a logical choice for me to continue with the master Earth and Environment which offers the specialisation in Meteorology and Air Quality.

Besides of all the meteorological knowledge I gained, the most important thing that I have learned is how science “works”

Education

During my studies I found out that I like to do research and more specifically experimental work. Therefore I was happy when I got the chance to participate in a meteorological field experiment held at the Deutscher Wetterdienst in Lindenberg, Germany. Furthermore, during the rest of my studies I had the freedom to further develop my knowledge on topics that I was most interested in, which made me enjoy my studies even more.

In the last year of my masters I was selected to participate in an honours programme in which 12 selected students from different universities in the Netherlands followed a special research master track. This track allowed us to gain experience for an academic research career by writing a full PhD research proposal. This programme was a great experience as I wanted to continue doing research after my studies, preferably in a PhD research project.

Job

After my studies (2013) I obtained a PhD position at the Centre for Isotope Research at the University of Groningen. I am now doing research on the uptake of CO2 by plants; a process that involves a lot of meteorological dynamics. Plants have such a great influence on atmospheric CO2 that researchers have to include these influences in climate models. However, it is very difficult to measure how much CO2 plants actually take up. During my 4 year research project I will take atmospheric measurements of several gases. From these measurements I will determine the amount of CO2 that is taken up by plants. In this job I get to do what I like: I am doing experimental work, which means that sometimes I work in the lab, in the field or in a measurement tower to get the instruments running and to maintain them. At other times I am working in the office to analyse the data. Every day of my work I am aware that I am applying the knowledge of research- and measurement techniques that I gained during my studies in Wageningen. Besides of all the meteorological knowledge that I gained in Wageningen, the most important thing that I have learned is how science “works”. I could not have had a better preparation for my PhD.