Between March 25 and 29, 2019, I attended the ECORD Training Course at the MARUM, in Bremen, Germany, supported by the USSSP and a C-DEBI exchange award. The purpose of my participation was to acquire a greater understanding of IODP science planning and shipboard logistics and analyses, in order to facilitate realistic IODP proposal writing. Specific labs provided opportunities to make measurements of physical properties, pore water analyses, biostratigraphy, and magnetostratigraphy from archived cores. Classroom time was allocated to lecturers describing the structure of IODP and group proposal writing exercises. This experience was an important stepping stone in co-authoring my first IODP pre-proposal (submitted in April, 2019), and hopefully will improve the likelihood for my first application to sail to be approved. The IODP is the greatest tool for marine subsurface microbial science, and a program I plan to be involved in for the duration of my science career.