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Academic Skills in Forest Sciences 

Course number: 3513061; 1.5 ECTS; In Finnish: Akateemiset taidot metsätieteissä



titleCourse description

A student starting a MSc programme needs a deep understanding on writing and reading scientific reports and how the different dissemination channels work in science. Academic Skills in Forest Sciences introduces all aspects related to scientific discourse and academia. The course has already some tradition: it was originally conceived in 2010 for students of the MSc of European Forestry, in order to prepare them for the final thesis. Shortly after, it was open to all students of the School of Forest Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland. The course was originally conceived by David Gritten, and followed by Javier Arévalo, under the leadership of Paavo Pelkonen and Timo Tokola. The present form of the course started in 2015 and has been designed and coordinated by Blas Mola and Olalla Díaz; in 2018 Pierre Bernier was our guess lecturer. The course includes lectures, workshop exercises, a final seminar with oral presentations, as well as independent and collaborative work on learning tasks at this Wiki learning environment. More about the course structure here.



titleLearning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of the scientific method (i.e. systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses), as well as conduct assignments following the principles of good scientific practice;
  • Identify and analyse the main elements of a scientific article and a MSc thesis in forest sciences, as well as write an academic abstract;
  • Identify the main elements of an oral academic presentation, as well as design and conduct a presentation in front of a live audience;
  • Compare the characteristics of various traditional, collaborative and ICT-based communication methods (incl. talks, blog, wiki, ) and their strengths when addressing different audiences (e.g. forestry specialists vs non-specialists), as well as use some of these methods to communicate scientific findings effectively.



NOTE: Due to the present situation due to the covid-19 pandemic, this course is under full renovation to accommodate online-teaching. Since it is the first year this is intended, this will take some time and several changes are expected. Do not expect a full updated version of this web pages before the official start of the course. Thanks in advance.

The course starts on 7 SEPT 2020 12:15h (Finnish time, EET)

We fully understand that it is not easy for everybody to join all the meetings. We made this schedule looking for a compromise with the already established time table of this course at weboodi, to avoid any overlapping with other courses. For any question or individual appointment, you can contact us by email.

Course zoom lectures:

8 SEPT 13h

9 SEPT 13h

11 SEPT 14h

18 SEPT 14h

23 SEPT 13h

24 SEPT 13h

29 SEPT - 9 OCT presentations (see weboodi for the time table)

In addition, we will implement some voluntary mentoring system with those students already in Joensuu. Those students on Western Time Zones, please contact us.

 In the meanwhile, help us prepare the course by filling the:

compulsory course questionnaire [link] Deadline: 8 SEPT 2020 (23:59h)


Course structure

Topic 1. Presentations
Audience - Deliver your message - Structure - Tools

Topic 2. Science and Academia
How science works? - Conferences - Communication channels - Posters

Topic 3. Writing Skills
Structure of the thesis - Organising ideas - Style - Rhythm

Topic 4. Reading Skills
How to read a paper? - Retrieving info - Reading fast & slow - Structure

Topic 5. Manuscripts and Reviews
Journals - Role of reviewers - Reputation




titleTIP: Navigation in the Wiki

Please use the navigation space in the left side of the screen to access the content of the pages.

You can make the sub-pages visible by pressing the ">" sign.

You can access the contents of the course without signing in. However, if you want to participate, submit assignments, ask questions or add comments, you should sign in with your UEF credentials.