The University of Michigan Partner RMU to Host 2019 Coastal Ocean Environment Summer School (COESSING)

The Michigan University in collaboration with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) held a six-day Oceanography Summer School at the RMU from the 5th to 10th August, 2019. The objective of the summer school was to educate delegates on Oceanography and Hydrography. In addition, delegates were equipped to understand and develop workable action plans, especially their individual projects. Field trips were also made to the Tema Ports and the Fishing Harbor.

Resource persons for the summer school were drawn from the following renowned Universities: Regional Maritime University, University of Ghana, University of Michigan, University de Brest Occidentale, University of New Orleans, University of Southern Mississippi, Naval Research Laboratory, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA, MIT/ Woods Hole Oceanography Institute Joint Program, and Oregon State University.  

An Opening Ceremony was held and a speech delivered by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Elvis Nyarko to launch the summer school, followed by the introduction of delegates and the countries they represented. Participants for this year’s summer school were from Benin, Cameroon, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa and Togo. Following very active and lively presentations, each participant produced research topics and an action plans focusing on what could be achieved within the next period of the projects.

Some of the topics treated were as follows:

  • “Biogeochemical responses to seasonal and decadal changes in the Atlantic Ocean”
  • “MIT gcm/ ECCO / Gulf of Guinea Simulation”
  • “Harmonic analysis of tide gauge data from Takoradi Port”
  •  “Nutrients (PO4, NO3) concentration in pore waters of mangrove, forest in south Florida”

Participants were encouraged to keep in touch and exchange information on the progress of their plans. An overall course evaluation was conducted by the resource persons.

An overall impression of the summer school experience is captured in the following testimonials:



  COESSING 2019 is at the top of my list of beautiful experiences. At Accra, I explored science with diversity in a way I never had. The lectures upgraded my knowledge, I developed new skills helpful for analysis from the labs, sailed the South Atlantic for the first time to take measurements, connected with other participants and instructors, participated in a project on seasonality and drivers of salinity in the Gulf of Guinea, and had tasty food! Since I returned to Nigeria, I have improved the quality of my senior thesis and helped co-solve class tasks using Python to analyze meteorological and oceanographic data. The Summer School was important for me since I planned to pursue a research career in physical oceanography or climate physics. — Oghenekevwe Oghenechovwen, undergraduate in Meteorology and Climate Science, Federal University of Technology Akure


  I had an amazing time helping to teach at COESSING 2019 at Regional Maritime University in Accra. The participants from all over West Africa were so welcoming and engaging in every topic, so teaching was fun and rewarding. Having the chance to teach to such a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, I learned just as much from the participants as I hope they learned from me. Being part of this fantastic summer school was definitely an enriching experience for me that opened my eyes to a new part of the world and gave me the opportunity to meet and teach amazing people! — Jackie Wrage, PhD Student, University of Michigan


  As a two-time participant of the Oceanography Summer School, I can boldly say that I have returned home on both occasions, more informed and adequately equipped. Interestingly, working on a project track this year for me, was a turning point. My Coastal Ecosystems group was culturally dynamic. And our tutor, Dr. Madeline Foster-Martinez, is simply the best. We modelled the trend in global sea-level rise as against accretion and subsidence rates in an Estuary from year 2000-2100. And we made a presentation. I benefitted immensely from this project and the laboratory sessions. Special thanks to Dr. Paige Martin who also helped out whenever we got stuck with Python notebook. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the 2019 COESSING and I wish the organizers and sponsors well in all their endeavors. Thank you. — Ogunsola Oluwadarasimi, Geology Graduate, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


  Being a science student myself, I was very opportune to be selected for COESSING 2019. I learned about different physical and biogeochemical processes shaping the oceanic environment. Data analysis was another area where scientific tools are used to take and analyze data in dissimilar ways. I was also glad to learn how to use Python for results during the school. I urge everyone to apply in the upcoming COESSING 2020. — Clement Tubu, BSc Biological Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

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Captain Johnson Adjetey, Regional Maritime University

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A group photograph of all participants. 

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Mariners from the Regional Maritime University

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Delegates from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

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Representatives from the University of Ghana. 

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A photograph of some delegates from Nigeria.

 Information Source: Marketing UnitInformation Date: 14th August, 2019

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