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?
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 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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
When you are studying Forest Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station will become very familiar place for you. Each forestry student spends the first summer there on field courses which last nine weeks from June to August. After the summer, you can (or at least you should be able to) identify different Sphagnum species, measure different variables from trees, use chainsaw etc.
I spent the summer of 2015 in Hyytiälä on field courses. The following year I was lucky and got a summer job as a research assistant on SMEAR II station in Hyytiälä. The three-month-period included many different work tasks like measuring soil moisture, helping to build a new radar and creating new ICOS measuring plots. All in all, the summer was didactic, interesting… and mosquito rich. It was never lonely in the woods when there were hundreds of mosquitoes around. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes didn´t understand that I wanted to work alone…
In early June, this year, I found myself once again from Juupajoki ready to start my second summer as a research assistant in Hyytiälä. It was much easier to start working because I already knew the places and people. I even got the same room as last summer (which I consider the best one) and great roommates. There were two other summer workers besides me and in my opinion, we were a great team (hopefully they think the same…).
But, even though people and manners were almost the same as before, the work tasks were quite different from last summer. This time I had many works which recurred regularly. Some of them were done once a month, some every other week. It was great to have this kind of a timetable and almost every morning I knew what to do on that day. Of course, many of those tasks didn`t last an entire day and I had quite often many different things to do during the same day.
But what did I do then? Don´t worry, I won´t tell everything I did because that list is too long for one blog text. Instead I will describe some of the routine tasks that I did. One of them was collection of rainwater. There are seven water collectors near the SMEAR station and two little bottles on one tower. The water collectors are like gutters where water runs into a canister. Every other week I changed canisters and bottles and weighed the full ones. Then I took some samples and measured pH and electrical conductivity. The other samples were put into a freezer and will be send to Helsinki for analysis. And what was the highest rainfall during the summer? Well, 16 litres in one canister within two weeks.
Another routine task was litter collection which was done once a month. There are 20 collectors (which means big tubes with cloth bags) around the SMEAR station. Every month I changed the bags and collected all the litter which was inside. The litter was put into small paper bags (total 20 bags) and stayed in the oven for 24 hours. After that the bags were weighed and then started the hardest part: the litter was separated into needles, leaves, cones, bark and other stuff. These samples will be milled in the future and analysed.
Besides these two tasks I also did much more. For instance, I measured methane in the forest, carried timber planks on Siikaneva measuring site and cleaned some equipment on a float. These are just few examples. All in all, the summer included many different tasks and I learned once again a lot. Hyytiälä is also a great place to develop your social skills. There are people all over from Finland and the world during the summertime and I met many nice and interesting persons. Not only in Hyytiälä but also on every working place you need to be able to work with people of all kind.
Well, this was a little summary about my summer job. You may wonder what we summer workers did during the free time. There are many ways to spend your evenings in Hyytiälä. You can pick berries and mushrooms, go for a walk, swim, go for a row or just relax and watch tv or read some nice book. And these are just a few examples. Believe me, like the working days, the evenings went extremely fast too!
Here are some websites that may interest you and give more information: