19th SWS Europe Chapter Conference
Wetlands across timescales
JUNE 24th - 26th 2024, GONIĄDZ, POLAND
Registration is now open

Wetland Summer School – a field course on ecology, conservation and restoration of mires

Registration is now open! Deadline for application: 20th of May 2024. You can apply HERE

It is a 6-day field trip, from June 27th to July 2nd, 2024, through wetland landscapes of NE Poland, with a focus on mires and peatlands. During the course, participants will develop and deepen their knowledge of mire ecosystems’ functioning, connection to surrounding landscapes, specific biodiversity, and ecosystem services. We will visit the last well-preserved bogs and fens of various ecological and hydrogenetic types, as well as degraded peatlands, trying to identify the causes and consequences of environmental deterioration. At each site, we will discuss conservation approaches, assess the effectiveness of so-far applied measures, and consider possible alternatives, look at synergies and constraints between nature conservation and other land uses in and around wetlands. Last but not least, we will meet people responsible for wetland management and restoration, discussing the social, economic, and political dimensions of conservation and restoration. We warmly invite you to join us on this adventure, contributing to the success of this summer school by sharing your knowledge while discussing specific problems in the beautiful scenery of NE-Polish wetlands.

For whom?
We dedicate the Wetland Summer School to practitioners and researchers in the field of wetland conservation and restoration who have (or can have in the future) a significant impact on the condition of these ecosystems. Staff members of non-governmental organisations and nature conservation administration, scientists and PhD students are welcome. To facilitate good internal communication and logistics, the number of participants is limited to 25 persons (plus staff).

What will be the scope of the training?
Understanding the functioning and status of wetlands and planning their protection or restoration is an eminently interdisciplinary task. Since it is not always possible to consult various specialists, you need a broad competence in many fields. Therefore, we include in the course agenda the aspects of botany and vegetation ecology, soil and peat science, ecohydrology, landscape ecology, ornithology, methods of ecosystem services assessment, and practice of planning and implementation of ecosystem management and restoration.

What can you expect?
The course will have a formula of a 6-day-long tour through various peatlands of Podlasie (with the addition of Mazovia). We will visit, among others, the Rospuda Valley and other peatlands of the Augustów Primeval Forest, Biebrza National Park, the Narew National Park, the area around the Białowieża Primeval Forest, to end our route at the Bagno Całowanie near Warsaw. We will travel by bus. arranging accommodation in several tourist facilities. We will mainly spend time in the field, exploring different aspects of the diversity of wetland ecosystems, understanding their degradation processes, gaining knowledge about research methods, conducting conservation activities, and evaluating their results. We assume that the aim of the School is not only to impart knowledge unilaterally but first and foremost, to network and exchange knowledge and experience with all participants. During the evenings we will have time for short lectures and discussions . At the end, we are planning a short seminar where the School participants will present their activities (projects, research, legal issues, etc.) related to wetlands.

Who will lead the School?
The Summer School is organised by the Wetland Conservation Centre (PL). Dr. Łukasz Kozub and Dr. Wiktor Kotowski, as well as guest experts connected to SWS-Europe (see updates on this soon), will lead the course.

How much does it cost?
Thanks to the financial support of the Climate Fund of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany the participation fee is limited to only 100 euros.


How to apply?
Please fill the form available HERE.
The registration will be open until May 20th. We will select participants by May 31st.

Photos from the 2023 edition of the Wetland Summer School: