Hello to everyone again!
Things are slowly but surely starting to fall into a routine, which I am very happy about. Last week was slightly chaotic finding an apartment, getting things organized, figuring out my way around the town, finding a bicycle, forgetting that the supermarkets close at 8pm and are not open on Sunday, etc. Last weekend was spent meeting up with some rowing friends from Germany, which was fun to see them all again.
This week I started at the ETH, in the Energy Science Center. It is very exciting to be a part of the research and action going on at the ETH! The Energy Science Center is the umbrella group that facilitates cross-departmental collaboration between the other departments of the ETH focusing on energy and environmental issues. The ESC also works closely with other industrial and academic partners to share research, cooperation, and ideas in the field of energy. As of now, I have two tasks. One is to assist with a conference that will take place next Monday-Wednesday, called Smart Energy Strategies. You can find more information about this here: www.esc.ethz.ch/sms08. As I was looking through the program of speakers, I was excited and thrilled to see such a high-level of speakers and panelists! There will be over 300 participants at the 3 day conference, so we are going to have our hands full next week, I think. Aside from the speaker panels and presentations, there are also poster sessions which present the work of the students; I cannot wait to have the chance to look at these and ask questions. I hope there will be time to see everything!! When the conference is over and wrapped up, I will begin the second (and majority) phase of my work here. This still has to be more finely tuned, but it will involve working with a program called Energy Navigator and modelling energy scenarios for various cantons and for all of Switzerland itself. I am curious to see how this program works, and how the results can be translated and adopted into a form of energy policy.
Since I am an avid and competitive rower back în the US, I have already found a new rowing home for my time in Switzerland. I will be training with the Seeclub Zürich, and yesterday was my first chance to meet some of the team members. We drove out to the Eglisau, where a BEAUTIFUL river runs through the cutest town I think I have ever seen. The water was a clear blue. Absolutely breathtaking! We rowed for about 80 minutes and then put the boats away and drove back to Zürich. This Saturday I will be meeting the head coach and will attend a grill-fest hosted by one of the members. Sounds like fun! Saturday night is also ,,Lange Nacht der Museem", which means that the museums in Zürich are open to the public all night long, and best of all, for just a small fee! There are too many museums to visit in just 1 night, so I think I might have to choose just 2...going to be a tough decision.
I will post on Monday to let you all know how the conference is going!
Have a great weekend (or, schoenes Wochenende!)