In September, scientists of the ATTO project met in Manaus for our 2019 workshop. To our delight, representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), project manager on the German side, and of the Brazilian Ministry for Science could join us for the entire week.
This was already our third workshop, although we never had one on this scale before. Unlike before, the focus of this meeting wasn’t so much on technical or administrative topics. Instead, we dedicated it to scientific exchange. As a result, many of the over 100 participants were MS and PhD students. The National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) hosted the workshop at the Bosque de Ciencia on the INPA campus. It is idyllically located in an Amazonian primary forest. Amazingly, we could even spot monkeys scurrying around the auditorium, something that was only surprising to participants who were there for the first time.
During the 2019 workshop we dedicated a large amount of time to poster sessions in a relaxed atmosphere. That way, many participants had the opportunity to present their work and had time for personal exchange with project partners. In addition, we placed another emphasis on interdisciplinary breakout sessions for topics where the research questions of different working groups overlap. Their goal was to create synergies in order to fully exploit previously untapped potential of our unique project and existing infrastructure. Both were very well received, and many lively discussions took place over the course of the entire workshop. And, as it so often happens in science, those discussions led to uncounted new research questions. The consortiums wants to follow up on these in the coming years.
The highlight for many participants was the ensuing excursion to ATTO. Despite the early morning departure at 4:30 am, ca. 30 meeting participants met at INPA for the 6-hour-long trip into the Amazon. After their arrival there, they had time to explore the observatory in the afternoon and catch a glimpse of the steel giant, the 325 m tall tower.
Back at our respective institutes, we’re now continuing our work with fresh energy and inspiration. New measurement campaigns need to be planned, publications need to be written and, last but not least, funding for the continuation of the project needs to be applied for.