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Äike
12-22-2010, 02:56 PM
Grad Student 'Teledefends' Doctorate
(http://news.err.ee/education/dd663ec1-2466-493b-9de2-05b983ef1818)

Phoning in a performance might not sound complimentary, but for a University of Tartu graduate student, it has a positive connotation this time: on December 22, with snow hampering travel across Europe, Jaan Pärn will defend his geology doctorate over Skype.

Although Estonia has also been hit by some of the deepest snow in years, it was actually Pärn's opponent, Birmingham professor Gilles Pinay, who was prevented from arriving in person.

Pärn's advisor, professor Ülo Mander, said it is unusual, but that the Estonian-developed internet telephony program has been relied on for defending a thesis before.

Besides the "teledefense," Pärn's thesis itself is notable, drawing new conclusions correlating nutrient flow patterns in Estonia's river basins with climate change.

It is the first paper to deal with the rising rate of nutrient drainage after the recovery of agriculture in the early 21st century.


...

Can't the Brits handle snow at all? Anyway, Estonian innovation, Skype, saved the day, thus no harm done.