12 June 2018

One of the electives in the master’s programme Science for Sustainable Development is a course entitled Research Skills. This course lets students become acquainted with research. It took Marianne Kropf to Guangzhou in China.

Guangzhou, China

Just back in Sweden after the trip to China, Marianne Kropf shows photographs from the “Sponge City” project, which is the subject of her master’s thesis. Guangzhou is one of the ten cities in the world most affected by flooding, and participating in China’s country-wide “Sponge City” project, designed to manage stormwater in Chinese cities. Increasing the cities’ preparedness for extreme weather it involves flood control, water conservation and water quality improvement. The aim is to integrate the natural water cycle in the city’s infrastructure and have the flood water drained in a natural way, for instance with the use of wetlands or flood plains.

Marianne KropfMarianne Kropf Photo credit: Pia Molin“I was trying to decide what to write my thesis on when I heard that the Department of Thematic Studies – Unit of Environmental Change had a research collaboration with Guangzhou. I became involved in this, and when a Chinese professor was visiting Linköping, we found a common ground in the research on the Sponge City program.”
This contact led to Marianne Kropf travelling to Guangzhou to interview decision makers, researchers and companies, and in this way obtain material for her thesis.

Hands-on training

The course in research skills gives a hands-on training with different types of skills that are commonly used in environmental research such as statistics, GIS, laboratory studies, questionnaires and interviews.
“It gave me ample opportunities to form a firm basis for my thesis work and the trip to China,” says Marianne Kropf. “I was able to use my time on location more efficiently, having prepared my interview guide so well during the research skills course. And it was useful to gain practical experience of the Sponge City project, seeing theory applied in real life.”

Translation: George Farrants

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