Ifekristi Ogunwobi, recipient of the 2024 Secondment Program award, has completed the program and wrote the following to share with the FLUXNET community:

I started working with flux data in the second year of my PhD, which was a bit of a daunting experience at the beginning because I had no background in it. As I started to watch videos on how to use flux data and study more, I gained a better understanding, and when I learned about the FLUXNET Secondment Program, I felt so excited about it. There was no hesitation, as someone who loves international collaborations and travel. When it comes to choosing who to contact, I felt going to Dr. Koren’s lab would be the best thing, as his research interests combine both remote sensing and flux data.

Fig 1. Dr. Koren and I outside of Utrecht University

For four weeks, I had the great opportunity to visit the Dr. Gerbrand Koren Lab at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where I got to do some awesome research, explore the beautiful city of Utrecht, the Utrecht University Botanical Gardens, the always-busy Saturday market beside Hoog Catharijne at the Utrecht city center, and travel to the Wageningen University & Research campus.

Fig 2. Enjoying the botanical gardens. 

For our research, we used nitrous oxide flux data from my research field in Oklahoma to study how we can use machine learning to predict nitrous oxide data from its drivers. We utilized temperature and rainfall data from various sources to investigate their relationship with nitrous oxide emissions and how much efficacy each source had on the prediction.
Working with Dr. Koren is one of the highlights of my PhD so far, because he has been working with flux data for a while, he enlightened me on so many things about working with flux data. Though we are still working on our data, I look forward to future collaborations with him. Unfortunately, I was not able to meet a lab member who was away during the time I went there; however, I am glad I met Giulia, who took me to the botanical gardens to have a tour.

Overall, I had a very wonderful time in Utrecht and will continue to look for opportunities to collaborate in the future.

Also, a big thank you to FLUXNET for the generous funding!