And then something completely different

photo: Caine Delacy, Ocean First Education.
Photo: Caine Delacy, Ocean First Education.

A lot of different things are done and could be done at the research stations. In this post we show how the stations could be part in the school world and the fostering of the next generation. Andrea Schmuttermair, Kimmo Karell and Niko Nappu presented their project of building ROV’s in schools at ITK 2018-seminar.

Knowledge related to science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) is crucial in responding to the challenges we are facing as a society. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) or under water robot is a standard tool in marine industry. They have been used quite extensively in marine sciences. We want to take the building of ROV’s to schools and  use them in cooperation with scientists at the biological field stations.

Collaboration between the schools and the research stations.

Project ROV is a global initiative to combine phenomenon-based learning with STEAM components to create collaborative, multidisciplinary, inquiry-based STEAM projects, designed by students. During the project, inexpensive ROVs are built at schools and used to study a scientific hypothesis formed by the students and assisted by scientists.
21st century skills, inquiry based teaching and STEAM-teaching (Science, Technology, Mathematics, Arts, Science) are essential tools in this project. The goals of Project ROV are: 1) Encourage questioning, critical thinking and problem solving 2) Engage students around the world in underwater research, creating citizen scientists 3) Create a culture of “makers” 4) Inspire students at a younger age to pursue STEAM educational paths and careers 5) Build global collaboration and awareness 6) Encourage local community and school collaboration.
There are several schools and teachers involved in the project in Finland, Germany and USA. The project will: 1) Create global collaboration for something that connects everyone on earth: the ocean 2) Raise awareness for the United Nation’s sustainable development goal of conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources. 3) Encourage local area research and knowledge and create a better understanding of our local oceans, seas and underwater environments.
Engaging children in science will lay the foundation for skills needed in the future in many ways. In addition to learning technology, the children will learn cooperation, collaboration and communication skills, programming and logical thinking, engineering, biology and scientific thinking.

The prototype of a ROV developed in the project in Itäkeskus Comprehensive School by Kimmo Karell and his students (9th grade).
The prototype of a school build developed in the project in Itäkeskus Comprehensive School by Kimmo Karell and his students (9th grade) (photo: Kimmo Karell).

Read more and follow the project at project-rov.com. Comments and ideas can be addressed to info AT project-rov.com or niko dot nappu AT helsinki.fi

Third Finmari researcher days at Tvärminne

Finmari seminar 2018 at TZS (photo: J. M. Cano).

Last February took place at the Tvärminne Zoological Station the third edition of the Finmari researcher days. Finmari stands for Finnish Marine Research Infrastructure and it is a distributed infrastructure network of field stations, research vessels and multi-purpose icebreakers, laboratory facilities, ferryboxes, fixed measurement platforms and buoys of the Finnish marine research community.

Over two days, marine researchers presented their work with subjects ranging from plastic and noise pollution to climate change and biodiversity.

In the context of the newly launched communication project about the Finnish research stations (#tietaajarakastaa), the talks could be recorded in video. In this post you can see the first video, featuring researcher Pinja Näkki from SYKE, about the fate of microplastics in marine sediments. The rest of the talks will be available here.

Juupajoki medal #13

Juupajoki medal #13

The municipality of Juupajoki has granted the 13th Juupajoki medal to academy professor Markku Kulmala. The medal was granted already in 6th of December 2017 but was handed over last Wednesday 7th of March in ceremony at Juupajoki town hall.

Academy professor Markku Kulmala (photo: J. M. Cano).
Academy professor Markku Kulmala (photo: J. M. Cano).

Academy professor Kulmala has had a profounding role in designing and building the SMEAR-station network (Station for Measuring Ecosystem Atmosphere relations). In addition to Finland’s four SMEAR-stations there is one in Estonia and one in China, Nanjing. The biggest and oldest of the stations is SMEAR 2 in Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station.

The work done by Markku Kulmala and his research team is of paramount importance for the global climate change research! He has been working in Hyytiälä since the middle of 1980’s and the SMEAR 2 was founded in 1996.

Academy professor Markku Kulmala is the leading researcher of physics and chemistry of atmospheric aerosols and the most cited researcher in geosciences. He is one of the founders of the discipline of ecosystem-atmosphere interactions. His research groups work has increased vastly our knowledge about the mechanisms behind the global climate change.

Markku Kulmala giving a lecture at Juupajoki town hall (photo: J. M. Cano).
Markku Kulmala giving a lecture at Juupajoki town hall (photo: J. M. Cano).

Read more

  • Juupajoki medal is designed by Anssi Madetkivi in 1983 and it is the highest mark of honour from the municipality of Juupajoki. The medal can be granted as a recognition for the work or act done for the municipality.
  • Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station is an active field center of multidisclipinary research on forests, peatlands and atmosphere. A central topic is the role of forests and peatlands in climate change, which is a complex issue as the forests and peatlands act both as a source and a sink of greenhouse-gases and are also gradually becoming a more important source of bioenergy for the society.
  • Smear research stations are to measure the relationship of atmosphere and forest in boreal climate zone. The main aims of research are:
    • Biosphere – aerosol – cloud – climate interactions.
    • Biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and water.
    • Analysis of gaseous and particle pollutants and their role in cloud formation.
    • Analysis of water, carbon and nutrient budgets of soil.
    • Analysis of environment and tree structure on gas exchange, water transport and growth of trees.
  • Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)

Hyytiälä intro, short version from RESTAT UHEL on Vimeo.

Iron from the rivers

Picture 1. (a) 2-D contour plots of dissolved (top) and particulate (bottom) Fe in the water column along the Mustionjoki transect (Stations A–<br /> K), operationally defined by filtration at 0.45 µm, June 2015. White circles represent sampling positions (vertical depth resolution = 5 m).<br /> (b) Data from “a” plotted against salinity, including trend lines for Fepart (polynomial) and Fediss (logarithmic). Linear conservative mixing<br /> lines (CMLs) are drawn between the high- and low-salinity end-member samples for Fepart and Fediss. The inferred dominant processes<br /> controlling Fepart along the salinity transect are indicated by the grey bars (T. Jilbert et al.: Impacts of flocculation on the diagenesis of iron, 2018).
Picture 1. (a) 2-D contour plots of dissolved (top) and particulate (bottom) Fe in the water column along the Mustionjoki transect (Stations A–
K), operationally defined by filtration at 0.45 µm, June 2015. White circles represent sampling positions (vertical depth resolution = 5 m).
(b) Data from “a” plotted against salinity, including trend lines for Fepart (polynomial) and Fediss (logarithmic). Linear conservative mixing
lines (CMLs) are drawn between the high- and low-salinity end-member samples for Fepart and Fediss. The inferred dominant processes
controlling Fepart along the salinity transect are indicated by the grey bars (T. Jilbert et al. 2018: Impacts of flocculation on the diagenesis of iron).

NEW PAPER! Coastal ecosystems of the Baltic Sea are strongly influenced by inputs of material from rivers. Eutrophication and climate change are altering these inputs, hence there is an urgent need to understand the natural cycling of terrestrial material in estuaries. In a new open access paper in Biogeosciences, Tom Jilbert and colleagues from the Aquatic Biogeochemistry Research Unit (ABRU) studied the effect of riverine inputs of iron on sediment microbial processes in Pojo Bay, an estuary close to TZS. Sediments host rich microbial communities that carry out key ecosystem functions such as the breakdown of organic matter and recycling of nutrients. Because many microbes use iron in their metabolism, the natural input of iron minerals from rivers may be important in regulating the microbial functioning of coastal sediments. Tom’s work shows that dissolved iron in river water precipitates in the estuarine environment via a process known as flocculation, leading to higher rates of microbial iron utilization in nearshore areas. The abundance of iron in coastal sediments could have knock-on effects for other sedimentary processes, including carbon burial and the production of methane.

Tom Jilbert with the bottom sampler.
Tom Jilbert with the bottom sampler.

From Alabama to Lammi

I left a small town in Alabama in the United States in June of 2017 and moved straight to the Lammi Biological Station. I immediately felt straight home living in the country side and it was an amazing place to experience Finland while the days are very long. I currently work in the Evolution, Conservation, and Genomics Research group under the supervision of Dr. Craig Primmer at the University of Helsinki. We now have a fish rearing facility at the station. It consists of 32 tanks in total and will all be filled with Atlantic salmon alevins in the following weeks. These fish will remain in the tanks for several years and will be part of many experiments with multiple members of our research group.

I was able to live at the station for over 5 months but have now moved to Helsinki to be able to work at the Viikki campus. Living at the station was quite the experience for me. It is a bit isolated and when you are a foreigner (like me), you probably do not have a car. However, I enjoyed every day I lived here. There are many trails to hike and a sauna right on the lake. The station staff are all excellent. There is a constant influx of professors, researchers, and students so it is easy to meet new people and be exposed to different projects and areas of science. The station has an amazing welcoming environment and was the perfect first place to live in Finland.

Text: Adrew House

New web-pages published

New www-pages for UH research stations are now open @ https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research-stations.

The University of Helsinki research stations (RESTAT UHEL) offer excellent logistics and support for research and teaching. With their long history the stations are able to provide long term environmental back-ground data sets from the Baltic Sea to the north of Finland. The stations have modern infrastructure to support a wide variety of research, from field studies to laboratory analyses. Accommodation and catering services make the stay at the stations easy and comfortable. RESTAT UHEL is one of the infrastructure platforms of the Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE).

From the stations’ www-pages you can find the core information about the stations, pricing information and the latest news.

2018 Lammi grant

The 2018 Lammi grant is now open for applications right through until March 31st. The grants are available to MSc and PhD students who will be doing research at LBS this year. More information from LBAYS page.

LBAYS logo by Eero Pöyhtäri.
LBAYS logo by Eero Pöyhtäri.

Merry Christmas from LBS

Be ready to identify the mammals we recently found hanging out at the lakeside shelter. One of which is well out of its normal range, but has been known to be spotted in more southern climes around this time of year.

Best viewed with sound on… LBS wishes everyone a merry Christmas season!

Communicating and caring about the Finnish Research stations

From Tvärminne to Kilpisjärvi photo: Niko Nappu 2017).

From 2018 a two-year project, funded by the Nessling Foundation, will create audio-visual content to communicate long-term research carried at Finnish research stations. The responsible of the project is JM Cano, data journalist and science communicator at Outgroup. The goals of the project are providing information about critical environmental issues and create awareness about the irreplaceable role of the research stations.

The project will deal with issues of paramount environmental and economic concern in Finland: the degradation of the Baltic Sea and inland waters, reindeer overgrazing in Lapland, and the loss of forest and peatland habitats with their associated species. All these topics are linked to human-induced climate change and land use, and of special relevance in the context of the current Bio-economy boom policy in Finland.

The information will be disseminated through social medial channels and will consist of videos, infographics and podcasts. This collaborative project aims at activating Finnish society towards the protection of nature and make more approachable the figure of the researchers. To do so, in addition to feature scientific information, the project will show the inside of the research process and portrait the researchers with their motivations and expectations.

We are all people travelling through space on the same planet, we all share needs, concerns and constrains. Evidence about the irreparable loss of ecosystems and biological diversity is out there and the persons uncovering and monitoring it are worth getting to know. Let’s not look aside, let’s mingle, get to know our environment and have a constructive dialogue. Knowing is caring.

Open house at Tvärminne Zoological Station in 2107.

Text & video: JM Cano

Coastal observatory – take a plunge to our under water world

Ålandsbanken, a finnish bank, has funded and supported different projects aiming for a healthier Baltic Sea for some years. This year 126 applications were submitted to the competition called The Baltic Sea Project. Twelve projects were chosen by the judges to proceed to the next stage, public voting. The winner of the voting is guaranteed the funding but usually several of the finalists will get funded.

Tvärminne Zoological Station took part to the competition together with DROPP with an innovative project from which you can read more below. Take a closer look at this and other competing projects and cast your vote today!