Baikal Summer Schools
«Research and Education Center «Baikal» – development strategy»
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3D model of Lake Baikal
School "Marine and freshwater ecosystems"
From 30 May to 16 June 2008, a group of students and postgraduates from Irkutsk State University with Natalya Sirina, REC “Baikal” Vice-Coordinator, at the head were on a visit to Germany. They took part in the scientific expedition and field works on studies of marine and freshwater ecosystems, as well as ecosystems of wetlands. The training course organized within the framework of long-term cooperation of Irkutsk Sate University and Christian Albrecht University (Kiel) gave a possibility for integration of Russian students into the international magister curriculum of the German University “Management of Environment”. This event was the continuation of a number of international schools which started on Lake Baikal last summer: REC “Baikal” jointly with the Center of Ecology of Christian Albrecht University held the first school “Limnoecology of Lake Baikal”.
The work was carried out on two modules. The first expedition “Coastal and Marine Ecosystems” took place on Island Sylt in the North Sea. During this expedition the researchers obtained the first data on ecological situation of this territory. Young scientists worked together with their teachers Karsten Reise, Prof., benthic ecologist, and Stefan Garthe, specialist on ornithology and preservation of environment, at the Wadden Station of Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Studies. Lectures and practical work were mainly focused on studies of species of plants and animals brought to the littoral ecosystem of the North Sea. All the field works were carried out during low tide when the water receded and it was possible to watch the organisms inhabiting the coastal areas. Students from Russia, Germany, Honduras, the USA, India and other countries were divided into 8 groups according to their interest. After studying theoretical and practical materials each group prepared a final report. Moreover, they watched the birds in the tide area of the sea and as a result they prepared a joint presentation. There was also an excursion to the farm which breeds oysters on the shore in the zone of tides.
In a week, the Russian participants moved to Kiel and joined field works on the module “ Freshwater and Wetland Ecosystems” under the leadership of Profs. Heinz Brendelberger and Klaus Dießen. After a two-week lecture course the students studied in situ biological species, physical and hydrological characteristics of Lakes Plußsee, Pepersee, and Selentersee. By the end of September this year the students have to prepare protocols of their works and essays on the topics offered in order to estimate the results of their work.
The social programme was also eventful. Tatyana From, a Russian student studying in Germany, made a city tour around Kiel. Irkutsk students visited the main sacred place of the city – Saint Nikolas Church. Then they visited the Museum of Shipbuilding and Navigation. Besides, our students saw the sights of Lubek, the real medieval fairy tale, the town of Thomas Mann and marzipan. They visited the Historical Museum, walked around the town and went to the so-called “Mecca” of marzipan Café Niederegger where it was possible to directly observe the process of creation of fancy figures and admire the taste of “white gold”. In the evenings they played the guitar and sang German, English and Russian songs. Russian folksongs were a great success.
This trip made a great impression on the students. They acquired theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the field of scientific interests. They also improved their language skills, widened the outlook, met colleagues from different countries and even were interviewed by the local paper “Hallo Sylt” which wrote about the work of young researchers. The weather was also good: even local citizens were surprised by plenty of sun.
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