EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Task 5.5

Task 5.5 Engaging with Education and Society

Engaging with Education and Society

Partners: Lead: NORCE, co-lead: CNRS-CEREEP, HCMR, Contributors: CSIC, UniVigo, METU, AirClim, RSK, 

Duration: Month 1-48

This task aims at (1) building on human capacity in aquatic and mesocosm-based research via connecting the project with education at all levels (from elementary school to university); (2) increasing the public awareness on environmental issues, (3) informing European taxpayers about EU-funded research and (4) engaging with decision-making bodies and NGOs.

  • At the beginning of the project, a press-release will be produced and distributed to all major national and international press media presenting the project and its scopes. This will be repeated for selected experiments and JRAs as well as when significant results are produced.
  • Easy-to-read articles about project activities (TA experiments and JRAs) will be published on the website and distributed through social and press media.
  • Partners will regularly participate to open-days and other public events (e.g. European Researcher’s Night, TEDx talks). School and University student visits to facilities will be organised.
  • To maintain a regular contact with the public, a Q&A portal (“ask the aquatic scientists”) open to everyone will be implemented on the website. The questions and answers will be posted on the website.
  • Videos presenting JRAs and selected TA experiments will be produced and uploaded on the project’s YouTube channel.
  • Teaching materials produced by AQUACOSM for both pupils and university students will be used and further developed. In addition, a lecture for High School students on aquatic research and mesocosm-based experimentation will be developed.
  • In collaboration with national ministries of education, a European school contest will be organised. The theme of this contest will be related to ecological challenges of aquatic ecosystems.
  • School mentoring will be organised: Partners will be encouraged to “mentor” schools and arrange virtual meetings with students (e.g. via Skype calls) for Q&A sessions on aquatic research.
  • Dedicated TA calls for university students as trainees will open in order to make the application for students easier, more attractive and efficient.
  • A case-study on the impact of mesocosm work on contemporary environmental issues (exemplified by climate change, acidification) targeting policymakers & environmental NGOs and their members will be produced; it will include dissemination in publications by AirClim’s and other NGOs, and by participation in relevant policy meetings. Target organisations include decision-making bodies and NGO-networks such as IPCC, IMO, the European Environmental Bureau EEB, Climate Action Network CAN, etc.

Links to all WPs for the communication of the main findings to the general public and university students. WP5 will specifically collaborate with WP9 TA outreach and with WP3 on the engaging with policymakers.