The aim of these events was to introduce studies and research of INAR, and was based on the initiative of INAR councils’ active student representatives. The student representatives raised a concern that INAR is not well known by the student community in general, and suggested that students and INAR staff members should meet. The student representatives prepared a survey among fellow students, and as a result an open doors type of event was voted as the most popular activity take part.
INAR Open Doors events took place on November 30th at Kumpula campus as an on-site event and on December 2nd at Viikki campus as a hybrid event. The events were very successful, while around 50 students participated in Kumpula and 30 in Viikki. The events started with a general introduction of INAR both in Kumpula (presented by professor Timo Vesala) and in Viikki (presented by professor Jaana Bäck). Also short video greetings from the Environmental Soil Science and a newly-build SMEAR-Agri station was given by professor Mari Pihlatie at the Viikki event. Next, the study programmes within INAR were introduced to physics students by research director Katja Lauri in the Kumpula event, whereas in Viikki various course baskets and study programs in forestry, agriculture, soil and environmental sciences were introduced by docent Laura Riuttanen and professor Teemu Hölttä. Laura was also discussing on an interesting theme of what is actually required for Climate expertise.
Students Tuomas Arasjärvi and Lauri Franzon presented results of the feedback survey on Kumpula students’ views about INAR, that were collected with support of student organizations Resonanssi and Synop. Students Emma Lakaniemi and Ina Virtanen collected a similar student questionnaire on the Viikki campus, the results of which Emma presented at the INAR Viikki event. Finally, the both INAR events ended with an introduction to various summer work possibilities in INAR and how to apply for summer jobs in 2023. These were presented by assistant professor Tuomo Nieminen in the Kumpula event, and research coordinator Anna Lintunen in the Viikki event. Furher in the Viikki event, students Lisa Leinonen and Jenni Leinonen talked about their previous summer work in SMEAR-Agri Viikki & Haltiala agricultural field measuring stations, together with student Maria Selin, who presented her experience on summer work in Hyytiälä forestry field station. In addition, we heard career talks from the former INAR students Tuomo Kalliokoski (Ministry of Environment) and Elisa Vainio (Baltic Sea Action Group) in the Viikki event, where they introduced their current work positions and described how their studies have influenced in their own career development.
After these interesting presentations, the doors opened, and various recent research topics were introduced around the hallways both at the Kumpula and Viikki campuses, where the students had a chance to see posters and talk with researchers and other INAR staff members. In Kumpula, a fun orienteering was organized for the students, who also got to visit laboratory facilities and the SMEAR III measuring station. Those who had visited most locations even got a small prize! In the end of the INAR Viikki event, student got to visit on-going greenhouse experiments at the Viikki Plant Growth Facilities, and the SMEAR-Agri measuring station at the Viikki Reseach Farm. Both students as well as INAR staff members enjoyed the chance to have informal discussions in a relaxed atmosphere with coffee and snacks offered, and we hope to see more this kind of events also in the future!