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

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

Summer is coming

Summer is coming and  we are on our way to sample some Crustaceans (Photo: Niko Nappu 2017).
Summer is coming and we are on our way to sample some Crustaceans (photo: Niko Nappu 2017).

Summer is coming and field activities are increasing at the research stations. In the north there is still a thick cover of snow, but in the south of Finland the students from different faculties and departments are all around, busy with their teachers. Research groups are installing their equipment and starting to execute their fine plans outdoors. The interns have plenty of things on their hands, helping in the research or doing their own research projects.

Wish me good luck and a large sample of crabs (Photo: Niko Nappu 2017).
Wish me good luck and a large sample of crabs (photo: Niko Nappu 2017).
Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) nests can be tracked with a thermal camera and a drone (photo: Niko Nappu 2017).
Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) nests can be tracked with a thermal camera and a drone (photo: Niko Nappu 2017).

The University of Helsinki research stations offer excellent logistics and support for research and teaching. With their long history the stations are able to provide long term environmental background 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.

This blog is all about the happenings at the University of Helsinki research stations. The stations belong to the RESTAT-station network along with the other Universities’ field stations. Five of the stations form also a HiLIFE-network (Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences) for co-operation. You are welcome to follow the activities of Tvärminne Zoological Station, Lammi Biological Station, Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Kilpisjärvi Biological Station and Muddusjärvi Research Station in this blog.

A common www-page is also under construction for the stations. When it is ready you good people will be informed here. Have an interesting summer and do not forget to visit here now and then!