All-Russian seminar Eurasian Nature Records: Large-Scale Analysis of Changing Ecosystems is over.
Three days of fruitful work have passed. The participants took part in 6 sections.
Modeling Ecosystems Section (moderator Otso Ovaskainen, Professor in Helsinki University) was consecrated to theoretical and methodological issues of ECN project and more importantly to practical exercises and demonstration of Hierarchic Modeling of Species Communities program (HMSC) in action.
GIS and Other Modern Technologies to Collect and Process Data Section (moderators M.Y. Dubinin and A.M. Tomilin) was also consecrated to both theoretical and field work. The participants went to the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny Zapovednik to master the method.
Phenology and Processing of Phenological Sequences Section (moderators A.A. Minin, M. Delgado, Y.A. Buivalov) was about the most important issues of phenological identification of climate change and about long-lasting ecosystem monitoring.
Winter Route Counts Data Processing Issues in Counting Bird Populations Section (moderators Y.A. Buivalov, Y.P. Kurhinen) was probably the most popular and polemical one. The participants shared their experience in Winter Route Counts, discussed methods and data processing practices.
Section and round table called Publication of Nature Records in Data Networks or Other Web Depository as Metadata or Data (GBIF and other variants) (moderators E. Meike, N. Ivanova) was of great interest as well. Everyone was invited to the continuation of the session after the official part was closed.
Section called Grazing Regime in Steppe Reserves (moderator I. Smeliansky) gathered representatives of different steppe protected natural areas to discuss common issues.
Every one of the participants of the seminar have underlined, that these were the days of intense professional and friendly interactions, discussions, which continued on the margins of the event, of experience exchange, which was very beneficial. ECN project unites the community of specially protected natural areas for 6 years already. This cooperation is very fruitful and will continue further. The work in the framework of the project has launched new discussions, for example, about methods of data collection. It provoked new questions and ideas.
Otso Ovaskainen, Professor in Helsinki University: “During 7 years of our joint work with Russian specially protected natural areas, the idea of such meeting has evolved. First it was more a meeting to see each other, to introduce the project to people. Today we know each other well, we are acquainted with our colleagues from protected territories and they know us for many years. Today we concentrate on solutions of certain scientific tasks. During every new meeting we gather more new participants and the project has developed in a relatively large network. I believe it is a good indicator of our successful work. Last time we initiated a discussion that our colleagues from Russia need to have a more detailed look at the research of statistic data processing. As consequence we used a lot of time during the seminar to give specialists from protected territories the necessary skills to use the software, to know the methods and mathematics of the project. We organized it on a large scale for the first time. The workshops included two levels: the first basic level and a more complex and general one. Another important change is that earlier the meeting was more a unilateral communication and now we have a possibility to know more about Russian research groups, which work in the field of mathematic modeling. Today we can count on mutual improvement of our joint project.”
Kirill Litvinov, Astrakhansky Nature Reserve Deputy Director for Science: “Astrakhansky Nature Reserve had not taken part in the event before. I came here to analyze the project and to decide if we want to participate. I was convinced by everything I saw and heard from my colleagues and during the sections of the symposium. May be it will become a base for our reserve to take part in ECN project, probably, in the beginning only in some of the activities more important for us. I think that in the future it will become a very interesting perspective. We should follow the time and this project is definitely a trend.”
Tatyana Bespalova, Kondinskiye Lakes Nature Reserve Deputy Director for Science: “We are a part of this project from 2013. We started our joint work with a lot of enthusiasm and willingness. In my opinion, this project is worthless for us. Before it we stocked our data and preserved it like an apple of an eye. Our data are unique, but nobody knew about them and nobody used them for decades. Today they are finally presented to the world, digitalized, processed, included in the global picture and published. That is to say, that they will be used.”
Svetlana Sutyrina, Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve Deputy Director for Science: “We are participants of the project. But I visited the meeting for the first time; my colleagues took part before me. It is a valuable experience for me, everything gives much benefit. Cooperation with the project opens perspectives and we would like to see the publications as well. Moreover, it is very important to see each other one more time in a professional atmosphere. So many scientists came and it is a chance to discuss many issues and share experience.”
Anastasia Knorre, Stolby Nature Reserve Deputy Director for Science: “The most important part of all of our meetings is to see each other in the eye. Of course, it is essential to see the progress in our work with databases, with the long-lasting work of our Finnish colleagues and to see the results of the processes. In the framework of the project we are going to publish joint article on phenology and three drafts have been already published. And we will participate in this activity in the future. Probably the central part of the project for us is that it opens the questions connected to the comparison of data sequences managed through many years on different territories. Today we face the problems with the comparability of the results. It is a massive issue, which needs to be solved.”
Svetlana Babina, Deputy Director for Science of Western Baikal Protected Areas: “We participate in the project nearly from its very beginning and I like, that the idea of a joint database is developing. Our protected territories network should work. We should use unified methods and this project will help us in this sphere as well.”
Yuri Buivolov, the Prioksko-Terrasny Zapovednik Deputy Director for Science, moderator of Winter Route Counts Data Processing Issues in Counting Bird Populations Section: “One of the results of our section work is, without doubt, the recommendation for our reserves to promote the succession of monitoring data sequences, for example, in the sphere of winter route counts of mammals. We propose to create a winter route counts working group to develop joint methodological and analytical approaches towards data processing.”
Ilya Prohorov, Deputy Director of Federal State Budgetary Institution Informational and Analytical Support Center for Specially Protected Territories: “I conducted consultations with my colleagues and we support this project. I hope, that the cooperation within the project framework will continue in the future. Science without international cooperation lacks possibilities for development. We will investigate the idea of official associate membership of Russia in GBIF. I am surprised, that there are enthusiasts in the regions, who consecrated their lives to science, though I realized they exist. It is great that such meetings are organized and we need to support specialists in scientific research, publication of the results both in foreign and Russian periodicals. Many people saw, that I stayed nearly till the end of the seminar, because I was interested. I hope for further fruitful communications.”
In the evening on November 9 during a friendly cocktail all the guests were granted certificates, stating their participation in the seminar. The organizers congratulated everyone on the end of the professional forum. Every guest of Vosdvizhenskoye spoke about perfect organization of the meeting and marvelous conditions. On November 10 those willing to go for the excursion could visit the Prioksko-Terrasny Zapovednik with its Main Wisent Breeding Center. This excursion became a well-deserved finale of the protected territories scientific society meeting.
All the materials of the seminar and meeting Eurasian Nature Records: Large-Scale Analysis of Changing Ecosystems will be prepared and will be available. We will publish the link on our web-site and will specially inform our colleagues about it.