The series of blog entries for this project course is kicked off by The Pathfinders, who are tutored by the course leader, Jarmo Saarikivi.
Our group (Charlotte, Eero, Jenni, Kaisa & Riikka) mostly consists of environmental scientists, but luckily we received a British reinforcement with a background in natural geography for some diversity. Between us, we possess skills in natural and sustainability science, communication, creativity, and remote sensing — and Karelian pie baking!
Electricity was in the air as the students prepared themselves for the introduction of the partner organizations and their challenges. Four were presented, one for each student group. Topics vary but are closely related to two major themes: food and protection of nature from recreational activities. More specifically, the group working with Baltic Sea Challenge faces a challenge in decreasing noise pollution from pleasure boating, the group working with e2 Research attempts to ensure healthy and safe food for all, while the group working with WWF tries to tackle meat consumption.
Our group received the following challenge from the City of Helsinki and Forum Virium Helsinki: How to monitor the decay of nature areas in Helsinki caused by visitors and prevent further decay? The partners face problems with visitors, who are leaving the designated walkways to create new paths, stomping on plants, and leaving the area in an ever more decaying state. They propose a solution, which utilizes open source remote sensing databases to create a modern solution for monitoring the change in the nature areas. Gone are the times of signs and ropes. Now is the time for drones and satellites.
Ready to face your challenge? The Pathfinders sure are!