Congratulations to team Suuri Sininen (Sanna Korkonen, Niko Nappu, Linda Mattson, José Manuel Cano Arias and Josefiina Ruponen) on their second place finish at the Helsinki Think Company’s Deep Water Well Being Challenge last weekend. LBS MSc student Josefiina Ruponen was part of the team promoting the aquatic nature course (vesiluontokurssi) project that has been spear headed by LBS’s Niko Nappu. Check out the project here: https://www.suurisininen.fi
Read more about the team from the suurisininen blog post (in finnish).
The first important event in my life that was related to the world underwater took place when I was a child, when my godfather brought me a book, bearing the name of Captain Cousteau, as a present. I remember where I was sitting. I remember what it felt like to read of the journey of Jacques Piccard to the Mariana Trench and back, using a submersible (a bathyscaphe) called Trieste. It made me afraid of getting caught in the jaws of a giant clam. I wondered if they existed in the Baltic Sea?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!