Not even a week till the course begins

This has been the last week before the course, and it’s been full of surprises! Lecturers have canceled and wanted to implement some changes to our almost-final schedule, so it has changed a bit, but nothing major. However, as the course coordinator, I feel like I’ve been solving a rubik’s cube for the whole week!

My office frustration has also grown quite a bit. It will be a GREAT change to get to go to class rooms and interactive events from a quiet, yet busy, office. Being an office monkey is certainly not my thing, at least not in these quantities. I’m especially looking forward to going to Hyytiälä, as it is quite a magical place! You can check their info pages if you want to know something about the place beforehand.

I hope that all the incoming students and visiting lecturers are also looking forward to the course. Next Tuesday it begins!

– Saska, the coordinator


There’s only one month left!

As the title says, just a month left anymore before the course begins!

At this point the participants should be prepared to head to Helsinki, and hopefully they’ve also taken a look at the pre-exam questions and instructions. If not so, I highly suggest to check them out.

A lot of preparations have been made during the past few months, but there are still some arrangements to be made before the course begins. Some surprises are to come, that is for sure, but one just has to be prepared for anything. Lecturers might cancel, buses might break, computers might not work and other smaller inconveniences might, and will, come our way. But let’s hope for a smooth ride!

VITRI has been running a summer course for almost a decade now, so it is not a new experience for the more experienced VITRI staff. But for me this is the very first VITRI summer course, and I find myself being the coordinator! That has brought me some new responsibilities, and things to consider. I’ve contacted the lecturers and crafted the schedule, planned contents and tried to make the course follow a logical structure, in which every task and piece makes sense. It has been a fun experience, and the best part is that the course hasn’t even begun yet!

During the course we will use a few different pedagogical approaches, from lectures to field trips, group works to a public seminar. I hope that some of these alternative learning methods will be warmly welcomed. But fear not, we did not forget the traditional methods, and the participants will be sitting in lecture rooms, listening to our lecturers while the sun is shining outside. I also hope that learning takes place not only in the classroom and during the formal hours. Given the diverse backgrounds of the participants, there will certainly be a lot of opportunities to learn from each other! This can happen during lunch time or coffee breaks, free time activities etc. I am very much looking forward to interesting discussions during the course.

This is the office where the magic happens. Not as messy as you would think!

I hope that everyone’s waiting for this course to start as eagerly as I am. It’s been in the works for a while now, so seeing all the participants here and really seeing the course happening is going to be great!

// Saska

Helsinki Summer School course Managing Sustainable Forest Landscapes (6 ECTs) – From 4th to 20th of August, 2015

The Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) is coordinating a course titled Managing Sustainable Forest Landscapes (6 ECTS) at the Helsinki Summer School this summer, from the 4th to the 20th of August, 2015. The course seeks to enhance the understanding of forest ecosystem services, not least as the future of global forest resources is a daily concern in international policy debate and processes.

Helsinki Summer School offers fully credited, research-based courses for students and graduates, as well as accommodation and social programme. Students from Universities in Finland have a special price.

More information on the course can be found at the HSS webpages.

You are also advised to contact the coordinator of the course, Mr. Saska Lohi (saska.lohi(at) if you have any questions regarding the course.