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Prestigious international award to PhD student from the Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University

When Jacob Thyrring this week takes his seat in the flight deck on board AA-6535 with Washington as destination, he is flying in more than one sense. The talented PhD student participates as the only Danish representative in the large-scale and three-week long 'International visitor leadership program' in the United States.

2015.06.12 | Peter Bondo

Jakob Thyrring, Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, has previously shared his knowledge. Here he talks about Arctic mussels to a TV crew from TV2 (photo: Peter Bondo/Aarhus University).

PhD student Jakob Thyrring conducting fieldwork in northwest Greenland where he has collected hundreds of samples (Photo: Martin Blicher/Greenland Institute of Natural Resources).

The 'International visitor leadership program' is financed by the US government with the aim of supporting and integrating younger promising researchers who are or are expected to be leaders in their field. You cannot apply for admission to this program. It is the American embassies around the world that invite each participant.

Sharing Arctic expertise
Seventeen participants from around the world will be gathered in one group on the three-week expedition through the United States. During the trip, the group will be divided into subgroups to work on specific issues. Here, Jakob Thyrring will participate in the sub-program 'Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the US - a Multi-Regional Project' where the participants, among other issues, are to discuss coastal management and pollution and waste in the marine environment.

"I got a call from the US Embassy. They had heard about my work in the Arctic along the Greenland coast zone, where one of my research topics has been the potential dangers of pollution from mines," says Jakob Thyrring.

The goal on the US side is to build a strong international network that can contribute to valuable discussions about solutions to environmental problems, both in the US and internationally.

Within their field, the future leading scientists are to exchange ideas and create strong links with each other and with the United States. There is a tradition that the groups formed during the program remain active for many years, where they meet again and discuss solutions to some of the world's problems.

Upcoming prime minister?
During the trip around the United States the group will stay in Washington DC, Boston, Biloxi (Mississippi), New Orleans and finally Los Angeles.

Jakob Thyrring is the only student in the 17-member group.

"I am very honoured to have received the offer and am looking forward to spend time sharing experiences and theories with people from around the globe," says Jakob Thyrring.

Two former prime ministers, namely Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Lars Løkke Rasmussen, have previously been designated to take part in the exclusive program.

So who knows if it is a future prime minister candidate who on Saturday morning takes off with flight AA-6535 to Washington? If so, we will have a prime minister with a very comprehensive knowledge of climatic conditions and environmental problems. And this will not be a bad thing!

Read more about the program here: eca.state.gov/ivlp

Further information: PhD student Jakob Thyrring: thyrring@bios.au.dk

Arctic Research Centre