RV ALKOR and RV POSEIDON in the Kiel Fjord. GEOMAR-research vessel manager Klas Lackschewitz is the new chair of the ERVO Group. Photo: Daniela Krellenberg/GEOMAR

Dr. Klas Lackschewitz in his office in front of the porthole. Photo: Sirin Schulz/GEOMAR


Determining the course together

Dr. Klas Lackschewitz took the chair of the ERVO Group

04.08.2017/Kiel. Colorfully inked tables hanging on a big pinboard, neatly stacked up papers lying on a large desk and a porthole serving as an office window: This is what the workplace of Klas Lackschewitz, research vessel manager at GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel looks like. During the past few weeks, even more paper stacks and tables have appeared in his office, because Klas Lackschewitz took the chair of the European Research Vessel Operators (ERVO) Group this year. The group is an initiative of European research vessel managers from 20 different countries which regularly meet to share their experiences with small to medium sized research vessels.

With which technologies have research vessels to be equipped with to fulfil the scientific demands? Are there recommendations and tips regarding the research vessel equipment? How can the expeditions be organized more efficiently? Since 1999 the members of the ERVO Group meet once a year for a 2-day conference to discuss these and other questions. “At best, a mistake only happens once because we share our knowledge and therefore learn from one another”, Dr. Lackschewitz explains and adds: “Furthermore, we support the scientists with our cooperation, so they can achieve the best research results possible on well-equipped research vessels.”

The exchange of experiences and the close collaboration of the member states also allow a more efficient coordination of the expeditions. “If for example there is no German research vessel available in the Mediterranean Sea for a research team from Germany, we ask our Spanish colleagues whether we can use one of their research vessels for an expedition”, explains Klas Lackschewitz.

As the chair of the group, Dr. Lackschewitz organizes the annual conference where these subjects are discussed. Moreover, he chairs the meetings of the 6-headed Executive Committee which meets 1-2 times a year when required. Furthermore, he and the vice chair are the treasurers of the ERVO Group.

Beside these duties, Klas Lackschewitz will devote himself to a very special project during his two-year period of office: In cooperation with the European Marine Board (EMB) a newly edited version of the catalogue “European Ocean Research Fleets” will be published. In this catalogue all research vessels and large-scale facilities used in Europe are registered. Dr. Lackschewitz not only intends to update the list of research vessels, but also to make the ERVO Group more visible in Europe.

Since 2010 Dr. Lackschewitz is the research vessel manager at GEOMAR and member of the ERVO Group. He accepted the 2017 to 2019 ERVO Chair position three years ago. Two years before his inauguration, Klas Lackschewitz had the opportunity to write the report of the conferences and learn from the chairperson at that time as a vice chair.

“Of course my job as a research vessel manager doesn’t stop”, Dr. Klas Lackschewitz says. The paper stacks on his desk are the visual result of the consultation on the scientific-technical equipment of the new research vessel, which will be the successor of the RV METEOR and the RV POSEIDON, and the operation planning and the distribution of the budgetary funds for the research vessels. Thus, Klas Lackschewitz collects further valuable experiences to report to his colleagues about at the next meeting of the ERVO Group.


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