Editors note: below is an open letter to the Concordia team written by their trainers.

Dear Concordia 2012 winter crew: Stephane, Erick, Giorgio, Igor, Bimbo, Roberto, Gerard, Mattia, Guillaume, Sebastien, Alexander, Barbara and Bruno,

Complete Concordia team poses in front of the base

Your trainers have regrouped for another Human Factor seminar. As usual we discussed the challenges of working in stressfull environments, and the individual and team behaviour that help deal with these challenges.

We put people through complex exercises and get them to reflect on the way they communicate with the rest of the team. We find individual preferences for the roles they wish to play in a team, and how they affect team dynamics.

Every time we have a new seminar, we think of past training seminars, and so we started talking about your training for Concordia in Paris last year.

Do you remember last October the seminar started with a great introduction of yourselves and life at Concordia, including some wonderful live demonstrations.  Your first success as a new team was to swiftly resolve the “flying carpet” problem with some ingenious moves (as you know, we cannot describe the exercise as it would give future participants an unfair advantage).

With three working languages and diverse experiences to share, we spent the first day learning about effective communication and teamwork, including doing plenty of challenging exercises (we hope you’ll never put our “bank robbery” exercise into practice at Concordia!).

The Concordia chef carefully choreographed dinner using the scarce kitchen resources of our rental apartment. Under his expert instructions, you all worked as a team and finely executed a 5 star meal. Your highly sophisticated cooking skills formed a perfect end to a very lively and productive training day.

We still feel ashamed for asking you to always be on time and then getting to the classroom late ourselves. We appreciated your ‘subtle’ loud applause when we finally got there and tried to sneak in.

We remember how carefully you prepared your letters of intent and hope you will have a great time reading them and remembering our seminar together as we are right now, while writing to you.

There is hardly another place in the world with such harsh and isolated conditions, and you were chosen to go to Concordia because of your excellent technical and scientific skills. We are proud of you and we are looking forward to reading about your experiences.

Continue being the wonderful team that you were during our seminar in Paris.

Your beloved trainers,

Loredana, Natalie and Susan

Loredana Bessone, Head of Instructional Technologies, Special Skills and Exploration Training at the European Astronaut Centre

Natalie Klein, Human Behaviour and Performance Consultant

Susan Buckle, Human Factors Specialist at the European Astronaut Centre