Student Marina Sterk - MSc Earth and Environment

My name is Marina Sterk, and I study Earth and Environment with the specialisation Meteorology and Air Quality. Before this Master I did the Bachelor of Soil, Water, Atmosphere. I doubted for a while between the study Physics and Astronomy, but eventually I chose for Earth and Environment because it has a broader and a more practical focus.

In meteorology, you have enough freedom to choose your own courses.

Study programme

I specialised in Meteorology and Air Quality , because of the physics and math orientation, in which I was always interested.  Earth and Environment is a nice study, in which you have enough freedom to choose your own courses. In the first year I did courses in Wageningen and in Utrecht. In my second year I went to New-Zealand for my internship. I mainly worked there with wind data, in order to find suitable locations for windmills. My internship was a very nice period; I learned a lot on the ‘ company environment ‘, and had a pleasant time with my colleagues there. Of course I attached a nice trip through New-Zealand after I completed my internship.

At the moment I am doing my thesis research. I try to model dust devils with the LES-model. By increasing the number of gridpoints (thereby increasing the resolution of the model), more mechanisms on a smaller scale are included in the model. One of the goals of my research is to see what the influence of the model resolution is on the development of dust devils. Among other things, I am focusing on diameter, height, but also on pressure and temperature differences in and outside the dust devil.        

Future career

I like the modelling, and during my study I notified that I like to do research. That is why I want to do a PhD after I completed my Master. At the moment I am exploring the possibilities for a PhD position.

Student life

Aside studying there is luckily also time available for other things. On Wednesday I like to ‘ Move on Music ‘ in the sport hall of the university. I also like to squash, but this does not imply that I am good at it… I find it also very pleasant to read a book on the couch, especially fantasy books! The nice thing of Wageningen is its small size, making it very easy to meet someone to have dinner, or to see a movie together!