Emmi – Tropical Forests and Agroforests, University of Helsinki course

Heya! I am Emmi, a master’s student in forest ecology and management. I recently participated in a field course in Laos with the help of HiLIFE conference grant. The course was a 3-week intensive course which amongst many things included forest biodiversity inventory and interviews with the local people.

The course was done in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Souphanouvong University and Chiang Mai University, and we had participants from all of the three universities, from Finland, Laos and Thailand.

I learned about the many issues related to forest management and land use policies in Laos, and also different research methodologies, which I will use in my thesis project. I got familiar with Laos, and also learned many things about the different ethnic groups and their culture. I am happy to have also been able to make connections with the locals despite the communication barriers.

Overall, my experience in Laos was really eye opening and I am very grateful to have been able to participate in the course which was made possible by the help of the HiLIFE grant.

I wish that everyone would have an opportunity to stay for a while in a developing country. Things are different and somehow small issues like busses being late in Helsinki feel insignificant after seeing the daily issues of those in less developed countries and poorer conditions.

Check out my blog post to learn all about my intensive course experience!

You can also view this introduction in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CpcJhemve2m/?img_index=1 (posted March 6, 2023).