On Friday 29 September, LIAE invited to attend Researchers Night and explore the mysterious underwater world by learning about aquatic animals and research equipment.
On Friday, 29 September, LIAE invited visitors to explore the mysterious underwater world. Visitors could also learn about the first results of our joint study with Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia, meet the author of the book “Plastic hooligans – it’s a nightmare!” and take part in a panel discussion on microplastic pollution organised by the student sorority “Selga”.
LIAE scientists presented current topics in Baltic Sea and Latvian freshwater research. From 3PM to 5PM pre-booked groups of schoolchildren visited us, while from 5PM to 10PM the area was open to the rest of public. Around 400 people attended the event, most of them students and families with children. Visitors could:
- try on diving equipment
- board a research boat and learn how different sampling tools work
- look inside a microscope and see phytoplankton and zooplankton or other animals in the water
- look at the fish of the Baltic Sea in aquariums
- learn about non-indigenous species and their impact on ecosystems
- learn about macroalgae in the Baltic Sea
- learn about microplastic pollution in the environment
- register your class for the campaign “Plastic Pirates”
- learn how ecotoxicology tests are carried out
- visit mobile nature classroom of Nature Conservation Agency
- complete a crossword puzzle by visiting check-points.
In order to inform about the first results of our lake survey, which was carried out within the LVAF project No 1-08/85/2022 “Towards responsible environmental action, deepening our understanding of our lakes”and to engage in a creative exercise, we invited 3 classes (who participated in the study) to a lesson with LIAE researchers Astra Labuce and Inta Dimante-Deimantoviča, writer Agnese Vanaga, as well as Dace Strigune from the BEF Latvia.
At the beginning of the lesson, we introduced the project, its goals and activities and afterwards gave an insight into the first results of the study. Afterwards writer Agnese Vanaga both talked about her books, their themes and creation, and engaged the pupils in a creative interactive task. Thanks to the teachers and students from Roja Secondary School, Auce Secondary School and Ropazi Secondary School for their participation in these activities, as well as for their participation in the study and other project activities! The samples collected by pupils have increased the current knowledge of zooplankton in Latvian lakes, as rare species have also been found there. During the evening we were also visited by journalists from TV broadcast “900 Seconds”, who were interested in the event and the results of the project. Short report can be found here (in Latvian): https://zinas.tv3.lv/900-sekundes/skoleni-palidz-petniekiem-atklat-loti-retas-planktona-sugas-latvija/
During the Researchers Night, as part of the Interreg project “Lakes Connect” , we also invited the winners of the microplastic poem competition to come along. The 12 poems that were favourites of the competition partners can be found on the LIAE Instagram account.
Student sorority “Selga” invited visitors to a panel discussion on microplastics at 6PM. The discussion was moderated by Uģis Joksts and attended by Zinta Miķelsone from student sorority “Selga”, Inta Dimante-Deimantoviča from LIAE, writer Agnese Vanaga, environmental expert Jānis Ulme and circular economy expert Edgars Čerkovskis. The discussion was recorded and can be listened to here:
Activities were funded by LIAE and LVAF project No 1-08/85/2022 (Towards responsible environmental action by raising awareness of our lakes), with support from the Student sorority “Selga” and projects LIFE19 NAT/LV/000973 REEF “Research of marine protected habitats in EEZ and determination of the necessary conservation status in Latvia”; campaigns “Plastic Pirates – Go Europe!”; BPP project no. EEA/BPP/LFA/2023/3 “ImproveMicro”, LVAF project “Improving monitoring of microplastic pollution in rivers and coastal sand”(No 1 08/37/2022), Detect2Protect (LFA Contract No EU RTD/2023/26), Interreg Baltic Sea Region projects “TRUSTALUM”, “Lakes Connect” and “BEACON”. Logistics of campaign “Plastic Pirates – Go Europe!” are sponsored by DPD Latvija.
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