Contribution from: Jack Räisänen, Novia University of Applied Sciences.
I went to the Landscape and Forestry College of the University of Copenhagen for an intensive course about “Wildlife Management in Densely Populated Areas”. In the course, we learned from experienced wildlife managers, biologists, scientists, wildlife consultants, and more about wildlife management in urban areas. We learned what aspects need to be considered, and how to manage human-wildlife conflicts. By going on excursions, we saw practical applications about the theories we learned in the classroom. One example was a visit to the Copenhagen International Airport, where we learned about the work of a biologist who is the airport wildlife manager. It was fascinating to learn about the considerations of different stakeholders, analysis of animal behavioural ecology, and habitat dimensions that she must consider. This particular excursion was only one of many enlightening field visits, and the learnings from this classroom theory approach combined with practical exposure have remained with me.
At this wildlife management course, we students were also privileged to learn from some of Denmark’s foremost wildlife experts, and to learn about their research and approach to their profession. We learned to consider many aspects of conflicts, and how to understand others’ points of view, making us better at managing such potential conflict.
I came away from the course with a broadened understanding of wildlife management in urban areas, and a desire to learn more. With an interest in urban ecology, I now have a more enlightened understanding of what should be considered if we make our cities greener and more hospitable to other animals. In the course, I formed professional connections with some of the experts, as well as with my classmates that hailed from many different countries. In the multi-cultural and multi-national environment that we enjoyed in this course, we were able to learn much from each other and form lasting bonds. I am confident that these connections will prove invaluable in my future profession, as well as enhance my personal life.
I am very grateful to the University of Copenhagen, NordNatur, and Novia University of Applied Sciences for the opportunity to participate in this intensive course. In the fields of sustainability and ecology, the subject matter that we deal with transcends national borders. Migratory birds live their lives in many different parts of the world, and anthropogenic environmental impacts can have reaches far beyond one country alone. Therefore, it is of great benefit that these exchange and international cooperation activities are supported, so that cross-border understanding is enhanced and work concerning the environment, ecology, and sustainability can thrive in the future.
Thank you so much to all who support these intensive courses and international activities! This was a wonderful professional development opportunity and enhancement of my personal life!