SWEDEN FIELD SCHOOL (August 16 – 22, 2014)
Lake Torneträsk, Sweden (photo: Beach Tomato)
The first ABATE field school (in an anticipated annual series that will be rotated among North America, Europe, Asia and Africa) was held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station in Sweden. The station is situated on the south shore of Lake Torneträsk, about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden (68ᵒ21’N, 18ᵒ49’E).
From August 16-22, 11 ABATE students, lead by 7 instructors from Western and York Universities in Canada, Umeå University in Sweden, and San Francisco State University in the U.S. participated in the field school. It facilitated interdisciplinary learning on the science of algal blooms, discussing theory, demonstrating techniques and comparing systems from participating countries. The field school was highly interactive, with discussions contributing to the project design of student research projects and highly collaborative providing opportunities for students to extend their research productivity.
EAST AFRICA ABATE FIELD SCHOOL (to be launched Spring 2016)
Lake Naivasha, Kenya - An East African Rift Valley lake (photo: D. Keddy)
This 3-week course will focus on solving complex problems by developing leadership skills at the interface of different disciplines through applied system analysis and embedded experiences. This field school will be designed to provide innovative “feet-on-the-ground” learning experiences that embrace the intersection of cultural, social, economic, environmental and health studies on present-day communities-at-risk in Africa. We will focus on the relationships between changing freshwater resources and community health in East Africa’s Rift Valley lakes. Stay tuned for more information.
Biology professors Irena Creed, CRC in Watershed Sciences, and Charles Trick, Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health, were recently awarded $1,650,000 through the NSERC CREATE program to take leadership in the development of a knowledge-rich and skill-ready workforce to address the emerging freshwater harmful algal bloom crisis. It is the Algal Bloom Assessment through Science, Technology and Education (ABATE) Training Program.