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Saskia Overeem

Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Hey, I’m Saskia Overeem and I am lucky to be part of the PermaIntern program at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (Meteorologisk Institutt – MET). The internship is part of my MSc Geosciences at the University of Oslo and runs from September 2023 to December 2023.

What are you working on in the internship?

At MET I’m testing an innovative snow depth sensor, a crucial component in weather forecasting and warning services for extreme weather events. Challenges and problems with previous sensors made MET consider a shift to this new snow depth sensor. My role involves testing at the institute's field test site, comparing data from the new sensor with that of the older sensors, and doing quality control on this data, using different climatic parameters such as radiation, temperature and wind speed. In practice this means that I’m working with unexpected problems, troubleshooting, and adapting to the unique challenges posed by remote Arctic weather stations.

How are your academic background relevant for this job?

I studied climate change and climate adaptations, froze my toes off at UNIS on Svalbard, and now my current studies in Geosciences, fits very well with the work of my internship. Past Arctic adventures, like getting hands-on with snow measurements and working with big datasets, come in handy. This academic foundation helps me understand the nuances of data collection in harsh climates, a skillset crucial for interpreting data from MET's remote Arctic weather stations.

What have you learned about the host institution, work life in general and how is the internship preparing you for work life?

Before I’ve started at MET, from an outsider’s perspective, this leading international competence environment seemed a bit intimidating. But from day one, the people at MET, including colleagues and mentors Ketil Isaksen, Kjetil Stiansen and Olaf Weisser created an environment of encouragement and support. The internship has provided me with a concrete view on the inner workings of MET, giving me confidence in my chosen career path. Working together with everyone at MET, I learned a lot from them. Besides a skilful set of technical skills, I gained experience on teamwork, collaboration, adaptability, and problem-solving. Skills that I can definitely use in my future work life. This internship has been a bridge between my academic theoretical knowledge and the professional working life. I realised that the skills I gained during my studies are actually useful and appreciated in real-world scenarios MET deals with daily.

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