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Environmental Science Students Go North

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(Foto: Nils Åke Andersson)

This week IEGS News talked to third year students on the Natural Science / Environmental Studies programme about their recent field trip to the north of Sweden.

A group of Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet natural science students recently travelled up to the Absiko Scientific Research Station to carry out some field work as part of their Environmental Studies course.

The Abisko Scientific Research Station belongs to The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and aims "to provide Swedish and foreign visiting scientists with the opportunity of conducting scientific work based on the particular conditions of the subartic environment surrounding the Station and also to conduct such research with its own personnel".

The trip was led by two teachers from Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet's Department of Natural Science, Dr Helen Quested and Dr James Pratt.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to give the students experience carrying out research and field work," said Dr Quested. "As well as working on their own projects, the students had the opportunity to see what researchers at the Absiko Scientific Research Station are working on. It was an extremely successful trip."

The students travelled up to the north of Sweden by plane.

"It was a great chance to see what researchers are doing," said Markus Anderljung from N3D. "We've done some field work here in Stockholm but this was a real chance to do something different in an entirely different environment."

Caroline Olsson agrees. "We weren't just working on our own projects. We got first hand insight into what professional environmental scientists work with on site at a research base."

Although the centre is in a very remote part of Sweden, the students did not feel isolated.

"We were so busy working that there wasn't time to think about it," said Sannaz Rasouli. "But in the evenings we found a bit of time to relax and eat sweets! So it wasn't all work."

Dr Quested explained that visiting a scientific research centre is an important aspect of studying Environmental Studies at Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet.

"We want our students to get experience and insight into the kind of questions professional scientists are working with, looking at the environment. Although we do quite a bit of practical work alongside the theory here at school, it's invaluable to see what's happening out in the field."

The research emphasis at the Abisko Scientific Research Centre is on plant ecology.

"They're also working on geomorphology and meteorology," explained Dr Quested. "And I really appreciated the time that the Centre took to allow us to see what they're working on, as well as give us the chance to do our own research."

"It was an inspiring trip," said Anna Erlander. "We lived and worked together gathering data out in the field. It was inspiring but also a lot of fun!"

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