The participants can choose between a number of activities to observe and participate in:
- Watching autonomous devices for marine research (such as gliders and profiling instruments) at work to study the environmental problems of the eutrophied Baltic Sea. Measuring and analysing underwater ambient noise. On board the research vessel Salme on the Tallinn Bay, with Urmas Lips and Aleksander Klauson, Tallinn University of Technology.
- Visiting a testing house for experiments on energy efficiency technologies. Visiting a building being renovated to meet near zero energy standards. In Tallinn’s Mustamäe district, with Jarek Kurnitski and Targo Kalamees, Tallinn University of Technology.
- Assessing the effects of air humidity on foliage temperature, leaf growth, and photosynthesis in open-top, plastic-walled experimental cells in a forest where air humidity can be artificially increased. This helps to make scientific predictions on how forest ecosystems function and adapt. In the Järvselja Forest, Tartu County, South-East Estonia, with Priit Kupper, University of Tartu.
- Measuring the dynamic interchange of greenhouse gases, atmospheric pollutants, particulate matter, and energy between the forest ecosystem and the atmosphere from a 130 metre mast. In the Järvselja Forest, Tartu County, South-East Estonia, with Steffen M. Noe, Estonian University of Life Sciences.
- Taking blood samples from pied flycatchers and analysing immunological markers in the blood. Testing the behaviour of birds, e.g. their reaction to pictures of predators. At Kilingi-Nõmme, South-West Estonia, and Tartu, with Raivo Mänd and Marko Mägi, University of Tartu.
- Measuring greenhouse gas emissions (such as methane) from the ground in wetlands and forests to study the impact of peat mining and logging. At Kolga-Jaani, Central Estonia, with Ülo Mander, University of Tartu.
- Monitoring the recovery of biodiversity (including that of plants, spiders, carabid beetles, and bees) on alvar grasslands. On Muhu island, with Aveliina Helm, University of Tartu.
- Studying amphibians (newts and toads, including the common spadefoot) in ponds. Digging new breeding ponds for amphibians. On the Western Coast or in the deep South-East, with Asko Lõhmus and Riinu Rannap, University of Tartu.
- Exploring the code behind quantum cryptography, secure online elections and blockchain technology. In Tartu, with Dominique Unruh, University of Tartu.
- Exploring the data science behind e-health solutions and personal medicine. In Tartu, with Jaak Vilo, University of Tartu.
- Watching a pair of artificial neural networks learn from scratch to play the Pong video game with each other. In Tartu, with Raul Vicente Zafra, University of Tartu.
- Gathering environmental data from a lake using autonomous buoy stations and a raft-mounted spectrophotometer. At Lake Võrtsjärv or Lake Saadjärv, Tartu County, with Tiina Nõges and Alo Laas, Estonian University of Life Sciences.
- Examining algae and seaweed specimens in the lab. Watching and conducting a number of demonstration experiments (such as turning algal polysacharide solution into gel in seconds by just adding a pinch of salt, a discovery made at Tallinn University). In Tallinn, with Rando Tuvikene, Tallinn University.
The field and lab trips are scheduled for Days 2 and 3, with a number of activities going on simultaneously for small groups of participants. Day 1 will have presentations on Estonian science, and a meet-up with Estonian journalists.
The Study Trip starts at 10 am on June 14 in Tallinn. Conclusion times on June 16 will be set on an individual basis, depending on your desired departure day and time.
The organisers will cover the costs of accommodation in Estonia for three nights between June 13–17, meals, and transportation during the Study Trip. The participants are responsible for their travel expenses to and from Estonia and for any additional accommodation.
A more detailed overview of the field work topics will be available by the end of February 2017.
For any inquiries please contact:
Liis Livin (Estonian Research Council)
Priit Ennet (Estonian Association of Science Journalists)
The Study Trip to the Fields of Estonian Research is organised by the Estonian Research Council through the initiative “Research in Estonia”, and in cooperation with the Estonian Association of Science Journalists. The Study Trip is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.