Almedalen

Postad i: Awareness, Every-day, Travelling den 8 July, 2017 av becle747

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Hello,

Now I’m back from Almedalen, a political event that takes place in Gotland each year.

This year, I was invited by Future forests to participate in their seminar about forests, which you can see here (in Swedish only). It’s interesting how a person who participates in this seminar claims that the there is nothing to worry about with the Swedish forestry. Again, I refer to ArtDatabanken, where the main reason for species to be listed on the national redlist is: clear cuts. For me, this does simply not add up, and I wonder what might be the reason for this different point of views.

Panel discussion at Almedalen

Others from that, I participated in as many events and seminars related to forest, nature, biodiversity as possible. And it wasn’t a lot. Out of more 4121 events, only 13 were found when I searched on “biodiversity”. For me, it’s a shame, that biodiversity is not recognized as a basis of sustainability. Yet. It triggers me, to work even harder in order to make biodiversity more mainstream, recognized by people who are not necessary biologists. I’m already looking forward to next year..!

In the short term, I’m also eager to get to my night shift; inventory of European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus). (Life as a biologist, I love it so much!)

Wish me luck,
Rebecka Le Moine


 

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Farewell ceremony

Postad i: Every-day den 14 June, 2017 av becle747

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Today I attended to the farewell ceremony, where I also got the great honour to give the valedictorian speech! I had prepared for a while, but in the last minute, I got feeling, and changed… quite a bit, haha! When I realized how big this was (like, yesterday), I also decided it would be appropriate to do some shopping. I went on a shopping spree, and bought all my clothes second hand, for no money at all.

Anyway, enough with the curiosa, time to get really nostalgic. Since I started at Linköping University, my life has changed so much over the time. Several chapters, beginnings and ends. And even if I’m quite immature, I have matured a lot since I first came here. The last two years have been very hectic for me, but I don’t regret a thing. All the travels, the project, the laughs, the parties, the lectures, the lessons.

Even if I don’t like to share my speeches or poems in text, I’m going to make an exception now. Here is the valedictorian speech I gave at Linköping university farewell ceremony 2017.

Dear graduating Students, Vice-Chancellor, Teachers, LiU representatives, Family and friends…

Today is a special day. Today, is the Farewell ceremony. This ceremony made me realise,

that this is it, the finishing line. I have studied at Linköping University for what seems like  a looong time, I mean, even the logo and  grading system has changed in the time we have been here! The last grade I got wasn’t a number, it was a letter. Does anybody know what F equals to nowadays?

Anyway, I think that sums it up a little bit. Most in this room have studied for 2 years, I’ve studied for 5 years, and I didn’t get straight A:s. (But don’t tell my mom, she still thinks I’m perfect!). Even if we enjoyed this time a lot, it wasn’t always easy. So why did we do this? Why did I do this? Because. I’ve always dreamt about becoming a biologist.

I wanted to save animals and travel the world like David Attenborough. That’s why I came to Linköping university (no pressure there!), and you know what happened? They gave me the periodic table, made me learn ALL the chemical elements . Do you know how many there is? 118. I was like… Really? Did David Attenborough have to learn this?! But as it turns out, the periodic table was more than that.

I thought I’d share with you  the 5 most important lessons I’ve learned at Linköping University. One lesson per year might not sound too impressive, but believe me, these are  the kind of lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life, and I hope that you will bring some of them with you, as well.  Even if I hated chemistry, I learned the periodic table. Because, this is when I learned the first important lesson; to see the bigger picture, to set up goals.

In order to get this degree, I had to learn the basics, even if I didn’t see the relevance in knowing that Hafnium has, in fact, 72 protons in its atomic core, I did it and after a lot struggles,I passed the exams. I did not walk a straight line to this point. I’m sure most of us know the feeling. Experimental and Medical Biosciences, Intelligent Transport Systems, Atlantis and computer engineering.. These are just some of the 19 international programs, which are gathered here today.

We come from different nations, speak different languages, and all of us have travelled a unique path through our education. And we all ended up here, in this room, to celebrate that we have now reached an important goal in our lives. We should feel proud!

I don’t know about you, but being a student here was also the first international context of my life, where I studied, partied, socialised and hung out with students from all over the world.

We all learned about our different cultures and ways of living, we shared our stories and our time. And what is most remarkable, are all the things that we do have in common, not the differences. The second lesson I learned was to see this, and the recognize the value of working  together.

We got to know Linköping and Norrköping, the delicate affair of pronunciation, you know LINN-köping and LIID-Köping. We learned that in the strict world of academia, one o’clock means quarter past one (…or somewhat past that). We got to know Swedish practices such as visits to IKEA, enthusiasm for endless queuing and maybe the most important of them all; the time honoured tradition of the Swedish Fika.

We did learn the discipline of studies, to collaborate and cooperate, the importance of transparency, to be critical and to recognize that the world is not black or white. It’s complex. All of this, we take with us now as we leave the time as students, becoming graduates. The third lesson I’ve learned, is the value of research in a society where people now use the term “alternative facts”.

As we enter the job market, we might be seen as “inexperienced”. But that may also be our greatest advantage, as we are able to think outside the box. This is necessary as we live in a world, with political instability, climate change and species loss. These challenges must be tackled, and for that, we need to be creative.

Thanks to my years at Linköping University, I have become a conservation biologist, with expertise in tigers. I was given the opportunity to study abroad, in India and Cambodia. I’m now ready to continue, trying to save the tigers and the forests. What are your dreams for the future? The fourth lesson I would like to share with you is to keep dreaming. In this room, we got hundreds of dreams, just waiting to be realised.

We all have a great responsibility, and with our combined knowledge and skills, I’m sure we are all eager to do our share towards a better, more sustainable world. The final lesson I’ve learned and that I’d like to share with you, is that we are able to make a change.

Thank you, Linköping for learning me these lessons. Thank you all for this time.

Rebecka Le Moine


 

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Final presentation!

Postad i: Every-day den 24 May, 2017 av becle747

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18620951_10155210539640692_5625367474381895414_oHello,

Today I have presented my work. Countless months of dreaming, hoping and planning resulted in one year of studies, which I finally presented today. Family and friends participated in the presentation, but their present meant the world for me. The presentation went fine, really fine actually, and I got fantastic response!

After the presentations, me and my class mates went out in the sun and drank champagne, listened to music, ate snacks and just hang for a while. Then we said bye, and joined our families. For my part, that meant sushi and then a drink with my mom and grandpa. They were both happy and satisfied with the day, enjoying the mini vacation.

Everything went so fast these last days that I didn’t really stop to reflect on it. This is the end of 5 years of studies, and I now got my master degree. 5 years of learning the basic of life, down to the very atoms, leaning to physics and chemistry before life even takes place, but also the complexity of evolution, categorized through our eyes into zoology, and understood by interactions in ecology. Preserved through conservation biology.

This is my question, that I have hold on to, through all these years: how do we stop mass extinction? How do we conserve species?

There is one, general, that would benefit the majority of species: stop destroying their habitat. But when we come to the question: how, I know after 5 years of studies, that I don’t know. Because to the question “how”, there is no single answers, there are thousands and thousands. It’s about the hard field of predicting the future, which comes with some difficulties… In the same way that we can’t separate humans from nature, we can’t separate society and economy, politics, from nature. For this, collaboration is needed. I have to talk, learn and cooperate with people from different fields. This is, in my guess, the only successful way forward.

Even if I don’t know the answers to “how”, I now feel ready to try my utter best, with the tools and skills I’ve learned during this past years.

World, what you got for me? Just BRING IT ON!

/Rebecka


 

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The international day of biodiveristy

Postad i: Awareness den 22 May, 2017 av becle747

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I’m on my train on my way home, and start to realize, that more than 70 activites have been carried out during this past days to highlight the biodiversity..! The day started by mFil 2017-05-22 22 02 48aking a last attempt to get SVT to publish the debate article, which I have put a lot of effort on. “Now it’s a lot about the Ice Hockey World Cup. We can call you back later.” I started to lose my hopes. However, the phone ranged at immediately, with the message that they wanted to publish! Then my interview with TT started to appear in different magazines, for example in Metro. Funny, that it was about biodiversity and nature forests, and they choose a picture of a mono culture spruce plantation, haha! Then I headed to the university, and 5 minutes before my test presentation Corren called and wanted an interview. 30 minutes later my presentation was done, with surprisingly good result, and I was interviewed once again. Breakfast and lunch in one, 30 minutes later, it’s time for LiU’s lecture on biodiversity! After that I celebrated with a coffee, when I got a call from SVT who was fishing for angry statement because of the hockey celebration that had taken our place, but I mostly laugh at the situation (giving them no headlines). Going to the train, I was a Norwegian/Sami radio (?) called to interview me about the Golden Beaver Prize (YES omg I FORGOT! I got a price also!), I felt kind of stupid and didn’t really get the call. Afterwards, the pieces fall into place; she had forgotten to tell me that they took a soundtrack of me, haha! But sure, that’s OK. I arrives at Stockh

Erik Hanson and me, at the same place for once, haha!

Erik Hanson and me, at the same place for once, haha!

olm and Norrmalmstorg, and meets many people for the first time in IRL after having contact only through Facebook. Then the manifestation of biodiversity begins! And wow, what a program! Speech, bird songs, poetry, a quiet minute for biodiversity, planting the seed of hope, and folk-song with a real opera singer. WOW!

Now, as I’m closing in towards Linköping, the biodiversity day is starting to end. For this time. I have learned a lot during this process. To not take too much upon me, and say no to stuff and responsibility when it’s getting too heavy. Difficult, but necessary. I can’t describe the gratitude I feel for all the activities that have been arranged around Sweden, carried out by enthusiasts all over the nation. Real Heroes.

Now it feels like we have done our best in trying to establish the day of biodiversity!

/Rebecka Le Moine


 

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One week until the international biodiversity day!

Postad i: Awareness, Every-day den 16 May, 2017 av becle747

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I can’t believe it, suddenly, time just disappeared, and now there is only one week until the BIG, FANTASTIC, MAGNIFICENT… Bioo-Diiii-VERSITY DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY!!!

Hahaha! Wow, I can’t really understand the width of it. This must be one of the funniest project I’ve ever been part of, and it went so much better than I could ever imagined. Next week, there is going to be about 60 activities in Sweden, in order to celebrate and highlight the biodiversity.

Only one week left..!

Only one week left..!

The topic that I learned about during my 5 years of studying at Linköping’s University, have never been paid off this good before. Being a good biologist is, in my point of view, not just about knowing species and ecological interactions, it’s about communicating and getting people involved. Before that, the knowledge has really limited value, if any. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there, does it really make any sound? Silly question, but there is a reason why it sticks. Let me rephrase it: If there is knowledge which is not being known, is it really knowledge?

So that’s why I think this project has every right to take up my time as a biology student, I have notices how limited our knowledge is, how accumulated it gets within our own bubble of profession.

This project have led to an involvement that I can’t even imagine. This truly make me believe in the butterfly effect. What started out as a frustrated line written on Facebook then become an unspoken promise, a

nd that promise hold up strong during the past 5 months. And next week, it is time.

A national spider-blitz. A photo sharing of nature pictures. A poetry collection. Two new awards being shared! Exhibitions, guided walks through the nature. A bio-bingo (!) A forest hunt, urban bioblitz, lectures, an eel-release and a manifestation. These are just some of the activities. This day will be worth remembering!

All the commitment is making me so happy and humble. The spirit and volunteer work that has been invested just to make this happen, is worth more than any salary could ever pay for.

Here is a link where you can see more about the day: http://www.natursidan.se/nyheter/biologiska-mangfaldens-dag-22-maj-en-internationell-dag-for-varldens-arter/

And I am already looking forward to next year! 😉
Cheers!
Rebecka Le Moine


 

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Rebecka Le Moine

I\'m 26-year-old Rebecka. I am passionate about species conservation and biodiversity, and I am now doing my master thesis in collaboration with WWF in Cambodia. Follow my adventures in Cambodia and read in-depth about the endangered tiger, and take part of my reflections as a conservation biologist.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at becle747@student.liu.se


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