What a busy, but exciting week! Apologies for not posting sooner, but this week was filled with another ATLANTIS thesis defense, Taco Tuesday, three time-consuming assignments (all for this week), an all-day field trip on Friday, a spring barbecue, and a concert in Malmö on Saturday!
Where to start!? Monday was the first day of my new Silviculture course, a two-week section of my current Broadleaves course that deals specifically with:
- Principles for traditional management of different broadleaved species
- The use and market of hardwood and requirements on timber quality
- The assets and economic potential of broadleaves in the Baltic region
- Traditional management of broadleaves compared to the new concept of “close to nature forestry“
The first day we received three assignments (ALL to be completed this week):
- Silviculture models for broadleaved species – working in pairs, we were assigned to completely research (from soil requirements to the current market values) a popular tree species in Sweden. I researched birch.
- Assets and potential of broadleaves in the Baltic region – a group project in which my group was assigned to research the silvicultural and economic aspects of the tree species in the Leningrad Oblast region of Russia.
- Traditional forestry vs. close to nature forestry – an online discussion/debate in which you needed to prepare a well-researched argument for or against these management techniques, and then interact with fellow students through an online discussion forum.
In addition, my fellow ATLANTIS/MTU friend Margus, arrived to Sweden from Estonia. On Tuesday, April 12, he successfully defended his thesis. Margus’ thesis research was completed during his year at MTU near Houghton, entitled: ‘Tracing the Source of Groundwater for Three Different Coastal Peatlands Along Lake Superior‘. Following his defense, we celebrated by having ‘Taco Tuesday’. My fellow MTU friend and I prepared proper tacos – of which we have been craving since we left the United States. Though Kebab and felafel stands can be found on almost every street corner, Mexican-inspired foods and flavors are not popular in Europe or Scandinavia, (for obvious geographic reasons). It was an especially exciting night as my Russian flat mate and a few of my Russian classmates had their FIRST burrito/taco!
The menu consisted of:
- Chris J’s famous Bacon Black Beans
- ‘Dirty’ tomato and olive rice
- Wheat Tortillas
- Corn chips
- Toppings: Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and greek yogurt
- Dessert: Double chocolate carmel cake 😛 and a traditional Finnish Easter-time dessert called mämmi
Wednesday and Thursday were spent working on, turning in, and attending a discussion on our assignments for silviculture. Friday was an all-day field trip to Snogeholm in which we discussed our researched tree species, looked at multiple management techniques, and learned about current landscape architecture trends. The weather was wonderful, and after a long day of hiking in the woods the students got together and had a barbecue.
To end my week, I was convinced to go see some live music at a club in Malmö , called Debaser. I was absolutely blown away by the band performing that night, a Swedish all-girl band called Those Dancing Days. Interestingly enough, their name derives from the Led Zeppelin song “Dancing Days” 🙂 They are now one of my favorite bands!