Archipelago Research Institute

Field station full of stories

Tag: marine research

Funding opportunity to conduct research at Seili

CALL NOW OPEN! The European project ASSEMBLE Plus has opened its second call for Transnational Access, where researchers can apply for support to conduct research at one of more than 3 marine stations distributed over 16 countries. This call will give the opportunity to gain access to a wide array of technologies and services in the fields of marine science. The TA funding covers travel, accommodation, access to labs, research services, and standard disposables (but not researcher’s salaries).

In Finland, Tvärminne Zoological Station (University of Helsinki), the Archipelago Research Institute in Seili (University of Turku) and Husö biological station (Åbo Akademi University) offer access. Finnish researchers cannot apply for access to the Finnish stations, but are encouraged to apply for access to some of the other partner institutions.

In this new call, applications can be submitted at any time. Applications will be evaluated in six rounds, with the next collection date being 28 September 2018.   More information can be found here.

The Archipelago Research Institute provide facilities for various types of research projects at a unique location in the middle region of the Archipelago Sea. Researchers working at the station will have access to the Institute’s long-term environmental monitoring data as well as are able to use the Institute’s research vessel r/v Aurelia or any of the smaller vessels. The institute’s staff also have good local knowledge of the sea area and are there to support for visiting researchers. For more information regarding the Institute and Seili island, please visit our website
or contact us.

New seawater laboratory in the making

During the winter, the “Laundry” building has undergone major renovations, which finished a few weeks ago. This week our staff started to move the lab equipment, glassware and other small items from the water lab in the main building (also known as a course lab) to the new sea water lab. The old lab will also undergo some renovations later this year and transform into something complete different. Here is a sneak peak to the new seawater lab!

Seili sea water laboratory

The “Laundry” building (on the left) will significantly improve the field laboratory facilities on the island. Next to it is a red storeroom (“Makasiini”), which includes two climate chambers and a couple freezers, where researchers can store samples during summertime. On the right is the “Sikala” building, named after its ancient use as a piggery. The building nowadays also functions as a small seawater lab with facilities for indoor and outdoor aquaria experiments. 5.5-6 PSU seawater is supplied to both labs with openings outside the island.

Seili sea water laboratory

The laundry room after the renovations.  The old washing machines and drier are replaced with a fume hood and stainless steel tables. The room is almost finished, only a couple of items remain to be added.

Seili sea water laboratory

The former drying room is still empty, waiting for two aquaria racks to be installed. The space is designed for experimental work.

Seili sea water laboratory

Previously a gym for the staff and visitors, this  course room is now a perfect class room for school and university students awaiting to learn about the Baltic Sea and species identification. The cabinets includes new Zeiss stereomicroscopes, acquired with FINMARI funding, and all glassware and plastic items you need in handling samples. Next week the room will receive few finishing touches, when tables and chairs arrive. The room will also include a  video projector and a WiFi connection.

Q&A, What do we do in Seili in winter?

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get is “What is it like to work and live in Seili in wintertime?” “What do you do in Seili during winter?” and “How can I travel to Seili in winter?” The institute has operated in Seili year round since its beginning and our actions are generally governed by the busy summer field season and the more peaceful winter season.

Seili winter

When summer turns to autumn and winter and the ferry m/s Östern, operating between Nauvo, Seili and Hanka, ends its summer season, we turn our focus towards the upcoming winter. Even though the weather might still be sunny and warm, the approaching winter season is obvious as one by one the summer employees leave the island and visiting researchers end their field work and experiments for the year. What remains is the core group that takes care of the infrastructure.

As things slow down on the island, the University campus is starting the new academic year, which means that the number of university board meetings etc. increases exponentially. For this reason, a part of our staff move their office for the winter to the Turku university campus area (Matthias-building) and work in Seili only occasionally.

A great weekend getaway for photographers and astronomical enthusiasts. The city lights won’t bother you here, but instead, pack a  headlamp.

For those who work in Seili full-time year round, the wintertime is devoted for maintenance tasks. During winter, sampling equipment are inspected and, if needed, repaired and calibrated, and lab stores are refilled for the next summer. Our service men, Pete and Kari, also take the Institute’s vessels and boats out of water and make sure they are ready for the next season. This winter, there are also several renovations going on, something new is under construction..

The lights at the workshop don’t go out in winter. The peaceful wintertime is devoted to maintaining the infrastructure at Seili.

In autumn, some of the sampling programs, like the moth monitoring, end when the temperatures fall below 0 degrees. One of last big sampling efforts is the fishing of herring for The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s (STUK) monitoring purposes. The water quality monitoring, however, is continued year round, and every ca. 10 days the Institute’s preparator, together with Kari or Pete, travel to the sampling point, located north of Seili, to take water samples and measure the temperature and salinity of the water column. Every month, zooplankton samples are also collected. The wintertime sampling is mainly governed by ice and wind-conditions, but usually only during rasputitsa the monitoring cannot be continued as it is not either possible or safe to travel to the sampling point with a boat, snowmobile or hydrocopter.

Seili winter sampling

Sampling in winter 2006. Exceptionally, the trip from Seili post jetty to the sampling location was done with a hover craft.

It is easy to travel to Seili even in the wintertime. After the summer season, a public ferry, m/s Falkö operates between Nauvo and Seili. The biggest differences is in the timetables, in winter, it is possible to travel to Seili and back only on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The ferry ride also needs to be booked at latest the day before. This winter, the Nauvo guest harbour is also under construction and thus, the ferry operates from Keso shipyard in Ernholm, Nauvo.

Interested in traveling to Seili in winter, but the ferry timetables don’t fit your schedule? We offer transportation services year round. More information and price list here.