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Published: 2023-04-26 Updated: 2023-04-27, 10:26

Discover nature with guided excursions on campus

NEWS May 10 is the premiere of Nature on Campus, an opportunity to explore the flora and fauna around the university and learn more about the nature. “We hope it will be a bit of an aha experience,” says botanist Katarina Stenman.

Text: Sara-Lena Brännström

The Culture on Campus concept has been around for 20 years – but now it's time for Nature on Campus.

During May, September and October, the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences invites you to a total of six outdoor excursions on different themes. The activities are free and open to all. The idea is to offer participants an easy way to learn more about the urban flora and fauna that is easy to miss in everyday life.

There is a biodiversity that people are not aware of

“This is part of the university's ambition to be a green and sustainable university. The average person probably doesn't know that there are different lichens on the trees or that you can hear 20 different bird species when you walk around campus in the spring. There is a biodiversity that people are not aware of,” says Micael Jonsson, project manager and associate professor.

The first event, on May 10, has the theme of mosses and lichens.

“For example, we will teach the difference between sphagnum moss and reindeer lichen. We will walk around and look, so please bring your own magnifying glass if you have one,” says Katarina Stenman, a botanist who works at the university herbarium.

The excursions always start from the KBC building and last about an hour, usually starting at 12 noon.

The second occasion, on May 24, is about spring birds and starts at 7 am.

“It will be at a very basic level, learning to recognize a singing chaffinch, for example. Most people have no knowledge at all about birds,” says Micael Jonsson, who in addition to researching biodiversity also has a great interest in bird watching.

Through Nature on Campus, the organizers hope to awaken an interest among students, university employees and other Umeå residents to learn more about and take care of nature.

“Perhaps they will be inspired to continue exploring on their own. We can recommend a good book, what other excursions are available and answer questions,” says Katarina Stenman.

About Nature on campus

May 10: Mosses and lichens

May 24: Migratory birds

August 16: Plants on campus

September 6: Nocturnal flying insects

September 20: Landscape development

October 4: Insects in the campus stream

Read more about the activities, schedule and gatherings on the website