Multidisciplinarity with surprises and smiles

Read the entertaining account on how a geographer and ecologist finds herself in a fieldwork related to ecosystem services! The fieldwork was part of the studies of BIOWATER’s PhD-student Bart Immerzeel, to assess how people value the landscape for recreation and other types of cultural ecosystem services. Since Bart is not speaking Finnish, it was necessary to find local researchers to do the fieldwork. Hence, multidisciplinarity in practice!

Dr. Annika Vilmi is a geographer and ecologist, and took on the task of interviewing people for Bart’s PhD-work in June 2019. She writes, amongst others, “Fieldwork, for us, is a synonym for carrying lots of different types of sampling bottles and jars, equipment for measuring e.g. pH, EC and velocity, toothbrushes, bottles of alcohol, kick-nets, cool boxes (which will eventually be filled with water and/or biological samples, making the way back very tough)…and very long days. This year, during the first week of June, I got to experience another type of fieldwork, i.e. qualitative/semi-quantitative fieldwork. This meant interviewing locals and travelers in a small municipality called Simo in the southern part of Finnish Lapland.”

Although a refreshing change from carrying toothbrushes and water bottles, Annika also discovered the hardship of doing interviews, and reminds all of us that we should be more patient when someone approaches us with a questionnaire! Read all of Annika’s report at the home-pages of the Biodiversity Investigators Group.

Annika Vilmi (PhD) is a geographer and ecologist studying themes related to aquatic ecology and human impacts; the photos in this article are hers. The feature image is Trollius europaeus (globeflower)


Vaccinium myrtillus, or young blueberries for those of us with less Latin knowledge. Photo: Annika Vilmi.