29th Biology Summer Research Camp – Invitation

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Application form can be found here. Deadline for registration is 25 June 2017.


Biology Students’ Society of Slovenia (Društvo študentov biologije – DŠB) proudly invites you to join the 29th Biology Summer Research Camp. The camp offers participants an unique opportunity to study Slovenian flora and fauna while gaining experience in field biology. Participants will be divided in 12 research groups based on their interest. Leaders of the groups will are Slovenian experts from the University of Ljubljana and some other research institutions in Slovenia.

Since 1988 the camp has been held every year in a different Slovenian region and more than 1,450 students and experts have participated in our activities to date.

Dates and venue

  • 19 – 29 July 2017, Predoslje, Gorenjska, Slovenia
  • The camp will be located in the premises of Predoslje Elementary School.
  • You can read more about the Gorenjska region here.

Objectives of the camp

  • To provide a learning environment for students who have interests in Biology with the objective of improving their knowledge of Field Biology.
  • To provide students the opportunity to gain experience in Field Biology within a research group.
  • To foster networking between students and experts in Field Biology.

Participation fee

Participation fee for the camp is 80,00 EUR and includes accommodation, food (breakfast, lunch pack and dinner), fieldwork courses, field transport costs and organisational costs.

The participation fee does not cover travel costs to and from the venue, optional trips and any other personal expenses (drinks, souvenirs etc.).

Registration

Registrations are closed. Registration deadline is 25 June 2017.

Programme of the camp

19 July 2017 Arrivals, Welcome overview
20 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 1
21 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 2
22 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 3
23 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 4
24 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 5, Picnic
25 July 2017 Sightseeing trip (optional), Free time
26 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 6
27 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 7
28 July 2017 Fieldwork – Day 8, Closing event and group presentations
29 July 2017 Departures

Most of the research work during the camp will be carried out in the field, but there will also be some lab work included in order to determine certain animal, plant or fungi taxa. However, not all of the time will be spent researching, there will also be a picnic as well as two lectures on Slovenian flora and fauna given by visiting fellows. On 25 July 2017, participants will have the option to join a sightseeing trip of the region or spend the whole day according to their desire. On the last day of the camp, a closing event will be held where each group will prepare a short presentation of their research work.

Participants will conduct field work in one of twelve research groups (group descriptions follow below):

  • Spiders
  • Botany
  • Bats
  • Dragonflies
  • Butterflies
  • Birds
  • Amphibians
  • Subterranean Fauna
  • Beetles
  • Reptiles
  • Fungi
  • Crayfish

Group for Spiders

The participants will get to know the selective and non-selective methods of sampling spiders, the techniques for preparation and labelling of the collected material and systematics of Araneae. They will sample spiders from some of the more interesting localities and try to estimate the diversity of spiders in forests.


Group for Botany 

The group will make an inventory of ferns and seed plants. The participants will use the method of middle European census of flora (by quadrants) to study the botanical characteristics of the area. The members will get acquainted with methods of work in botany, census of flora, species determination and critical handling of difficult taxa. They will also be introduced to some environmental measures necessary for the protection of flora.


Group for Bats 

At daytime they will make a census of bats’ dwellings in churches, castles, and other appropriate buildings and caves. At night they will capture bats with fine mist nets and work on recognizing different species with an ultrasound detector. They will also use the detectors to locate bats` dwellings in forests. The group members will learn the determination of captured individuals and to recognize bats in flight on the basis of their calls. The results gathered will be used to plan the protection of this endangered group of animals.


Group for Dragonflies

The group will make a census of dragonflies and damselflies. Group members will observe and determine dragonflies and damselflies and their larva, they will also get to know the general ecology of the species. The work will focus on learning about different species and comparing the biodiversity of running to still water.


Group for Butterflies

The group will focus on butterfly fauna census of certain mountain summits in the region. Day trips will include some most prominent summits such as Košenjak, Pohorje, Uršlja gora and Peca. The group will also study the butterfly fauna in areas that are important for conservation such as wet and dry grasslands where rare and often endangered species can be found. The results will be compared to older data; especially to those aquired during the 1994 research camp which was also held in Koroška region. We will evaluate butterfly diversity trend in the region and try to find out the main factors that influence the habitate preservation and diversity in natural habitates as well as in cultural landscape.


Group for Birds

The group will do a census of birds in the region. They will record birds on basis of observation with binoculars and listening to bird songs. They will visit different habitats and compare the birds that inhabit it and learn about ecology and ethology of the species.


Group for Amphibians 

They will try to determine the distribution of amphibians in the research area. The members will get to know the census and monitoring techniques, as well as insight into ecology of amphibians.


Group for Subterranean Fauna

Members of this group will get to know the particularity of subterranean animals and with different subterranean habitats. The field work will include a wide variety of subterranean habitats: caves, springs, water interstitial habitats near rivers, shallow subterranean habitats. Beside the basic census of the fauna and their peculiarities, members will learn about problems related to sampling efficiency and completeness as well as conservation of subterranean habitats.


Group for Beetles

The main focus of the group will be on the family Carabidae. In addition, we will learn about methods that are used for monitoring of species of conservation importance, and thus some of the species that are active in this period.


Group for Reptiles 

The main aim of the group will be to make a thorough census of all potential reptile species in the area by visiting appropriate habitats for each of the species. The group members will be introduced to field biology and get practice in determining species in the field. They will also learn about their systematics, ecology and conservation.


Group for Fungi

The main aim of the group will be to learn about the methodology for the determination of fungi and critical treatment of difficult taxa. They will also learn about the ecology of fungi. Lots of literature and microscopes will be used for this group.


Group for Crayfish

The group will observe freshwater crayfish. The group members will be introduced to field biology and get practice in determining species in the field. They will also learn about their systematics, ecology and conservation.


For more detailed information about the camp please contact:
Jaka Kregar, project manager
jaka.kregar@guest.arnes.si