I am Julia Wenske, currently studying in the 2nd master's semester Earth Sciences at the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and I had the unique opportunity to complete an internship for 2 weeks at the Sonnblick Observatory at 3106 meters above sea level.
In the period from 26 July to 9 August 2021, I was allowed to look behind the scenes and look over the shoulders of the technicians at work. I got to know the daily routine of the weather/climate and research station, learned about various measurement methods and helped, for example, with the filter change of the air chemistry and aerosol systems. The transmission of aviation weather data and meteorological synoptics were also part of the daily tasks. Fortunately, I was also allowed to rope down the north face with the "house geologist" Dr. G. Furtmüller in order to assess the observatory's foundation from an engineering geology point of view and to check for weather-related erosion phenomena. This not everyday excursion in a climbing harness will certainly remain in my memory for a very long time.
Julia Wenske and Dr. G. Furtmüller on the north face. Source H.Scheer@ZAMG-SBO
During the 14 days, I was also able to carry out my own scientific project. For hydrogeological investigations, I sampled precipitation events with the help of a rain collector. By determining the isotopic composition of oxygen and hydrogen as well as by means of data-based modeling, statements can later be made about the processes and the origin of the moisture contained in the air masses.
In the free hours I enjoyed the brilliant view (at least when the fog allowed it), determined mountain peaks or even took a walk in the high alpine terrain. Otherwise, you should always have a camera ready, because the sunrises, weather changes or even the cloud formation can be fantastically observed here on the main ridge of the Alps.
I am very happy and grateful that the internship was made possible for me despite the current circumstances and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the technicians Herbert and Hermann as well as the director Dr. E. Ludewig, who showed and taught me many things in the short time, always had an open ear for questions and all in all took good care of me.