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Environment camp - stream ecology and restoration

Lakes, rivers and streams enhance the aesthetic and recreational qualities of landscapes, harbour diverse animals and plants, regulate water flow in their catchments and have great economic value for tourism and fisheries. Their management must aim at maintaining and improving these valuable ecosystems. Solutions are needed for a suite of problems arising from nutrient and sediment loading, structure changes such as bank fixation and construction of dams, as well as general overuse in the cultural landscape.

In XLAB’s environment camp students acquire fundamental knowledge about the function of these ecosystems as well as the factors affecting them, and they are introduced to aims and measures of stream management and restoration.

Topics of the course include organismic diversity, structure and function of various stream types as well as the significance of their floodplains and watersheds. Strategies for restoration and long-term conservation of these indispensable ecosystems are discussed. 

Special emphasis is placed on hands-on work under scientific supervision during field surveys and lab work. High-quality instruments and materials are employed both in the field and in XLAB’s professionally equipped labs. 

During the five-day course, excursions are made to study various regional streams, rivers and restoration projects. Plant and animal species of streams and plankton of a small lake are collected, identified and ecologically evaluated. Comprehensive physico-chemical measurements and analyses are made and the hydro-morphologic structure of streams and floodplains is assessed.

Further information

Students are accommodated in a nearby hostel. Lunch can be bought in the University commons. As part of the social off-course program, we plan to have common dinners. Number of participants is limited to 12. Students have to be at least 16 years old.

Dates: No dates are set, as we are currently searching for sponsors that will help to reduce the cost for participants.