Never a boring day

Finnish Meterological Institute and their under water glider.
Finnish Meterological Institute’s under water glider.

A melting pot of environmental sciences – OR – “Full speed at TZS”. This is how many different user groups we might have in just ONE DAY!

Today there is a university course in biodiving, we have two different high schools visiting as part of their Baltic Sea curriculum, the Meteorological Institute (FMI Beta) just arrived to deploy their glider, the Metsähallitus continues their underwater mapping, this time doing archaeological work together with The Finnish Heritage Agency (Museovirasto) in the BalticRIM procjet. And tonight the research vessel Geomari from Geologian tutkimuskeskus (Geological Survey of Finland) will arrive. In addition, there are all the in-house research projects that are conducting their field sampling right now, with scientists from the University of HelsinkiUniversity of Southern DenmarkÅbo AkademiYrkeshögskolan Novia – RaseborgMonash University, Nature and Game Management Trust Finland (Luonnon- ja riistanhoitosäätiö), and probably a few others!

Never a boring day!

TZS boat house and pier full of people.
TZS boat house and pier full of people.
Sun is shining and the gear are getting dry.
Sun is shining and the gear are getting dry.

Text and photos: Joanna Norkko


RESTAT staff during a picnic in Lapinsalo island in the lake Konnevesi.
RESTAT staff during a picnic in Lapinsalo island in the lake Konnevesi (photo: Niko Nappu).

Last week staff from the university research stations in Finland (RESTAT) met for the traditional “Station Days”, this time brilliantly hosted by Konnevesi Research Station (University of Jyväskylä). These days provide an opportunity for the staff to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere, and to discuss common issues and joint strategies for the future.

The weather favored the station days, food was excellent and everyone got the chance to show his / her skills in the traditional game from eastern Finland and Karelia “Kyykkä” (Finnish skittles). I can’t recall whether the official Kyykkä-champion was ever announced; the ever changing teams and our peculiar ranking system made it fun though.

Team Tvärminne competing for the RESTAT championship in Kyykkä.
Team Tvärminne competing for the RESTAT championship in Kyykkä (photo: Niko Nappu).

The next station days will be hosted by Hyytiälä forestry field station. They don’t have so nice lake side cruise possibilities than Konnevesi station, but there is no doubt in my mind that they will do their very best in organizing the next meeting!

Turku borne cruise ship "M/S Autere" now sailing in the lake Konnevesi.
Turku borne cruise ship “M/S Autere” now sailing in the lake Konnevesi (photo: Niko Nappu).

“Little data, big data, no data” –workshop

"Little data, big data, no data" –workshop (photo: Andrea Botero).
Workshopping with data management plans (photo: Andrea Botero).

INAR RI Ecosystems organised together with MULTICS-project from University of Oulu a data management workshop in Hyytiälä 26th-27th of April. The workshop, titled “Little data, big data, no data  ­̶  Local data management in the era of Research Infrastructures” The workshop introduced local data management issues in the ecological and related scientific fields as well as its place within the emerging larger data landscape. About 30 participants from Finnish and Estonian Universities and Research institutes gathered in Hyytiälä to discuss, learn and share experiences on data management from station to national scale.

The researcher of the Multics project have studied data management of various units including ours during many years, and they provided excellent facilitation for the workshop. International speakers Karen Baker (Multics), Johannes Peterseil (Umweltbundesamt GmbH) and Sue Rennie, (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK) brought perspectives of what data management is and how does is look like, of how data management is coordinated in monitoring network in UK and of influence of European level infrastructure development. In addition, we heard small presentations by participants giving examples of the current state and future plans and needs of data management at sites, research groups and projects. The problems that a data manager, or the person who finds her/himself as the one responsible of it (a data manager is not always clearly nominated) can encounter have a wide range. For example, it is not clear what to do with samples or data that no one knows anymore what it is (retired researchers and their collections). Also, research station know their routine measurements, but how to make the researchers tell what other measurement they are doing.

Data will be the key issue for tomorrow´s researchers. We need to make sure that the valuable, publicly funded data on the research sites are made available and the credits of its utilization goes to the right place. The data management starts from the sites but is reflected far. We, all the researchers and data management need to understand that data without a proper metadata has no value. The minimum requirement related to data management considers the metadata. We need to know what is studied and where, what kind of data is available. It is important to keep discussing on the data management issues to spread the information and help everyone to understand that it is not a must to be avoid but a significant and crucial part of research.

The workshop was successful. It was great to see the willingness to participate actively in discussions and the positive approach that participants have towards improving and developing the data management plans and strategies. The workshop can be seen as a good starting point for continuing the work together, and concrete steps forward were already planned. They include: 1) DEIMS inputs from new sites (and updating the old ones), 2) data management plans on the next RESTAT meeting agenda, and 3) building INAR RI Ecosystems metadata catalogue. We will also start a new email list, so that interested people can continue to receive and give peer support in the data management topics. Let us know, if you would like to join the list.

Text: Terhi Rasilo

Photo: Andrea Botero