Planning an Experiment for International Collaboration: How I Learned to Be Flexible and Pace Myself

Hannah Beck, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, United States
International collaboration is an increasingly important aspect of aquatic sciences, as neither water nor climate change follow political boundaries. Carrying an experiment to a foreign location, however, comes with numerous lessons to learn, especially for an early career scientist who is still gaining experience. As a first-year graduate student in the first cohort of ASLO’s Limnology and Oceanography Research Exchange (LOREX), I certainly learned my fair share of lessons. I came to recognize how crucial flexibility and pacing are in planning a collaborative experiment in a foreign country—flexibility in bridging the gap between me and my experiment, and pacing in bridging the gap between me and my new location. Flexibility ensures that setbacks don’t cripple the entire experiment when resources go awry, while pacing assures that I stay healthy and learn to match the rhythm of life in a different country. From communication and equipment to travel logistics and jet lag, flexibility and careful pacing can make or break an international collaboration.