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Europe’s ecosystem research network

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ALTER-Net Summer School: one student shares her impressions

PhD student Ana Carolina Esteves Dias looks back on her 10 days spent in Peyresq this year, as a student of the ALTER-Net Summer School.

 

Ana, a student at the University of Waterloo, Canada, was one of over 30 students who attended the 2017 ALTER-Net Summer School on Biodiversity, ecosystem services: science and its impact on policy and society. The school, which takes place annually in the remote French village of Peyresq, has been running for 12 years. Aimed at early career researchers, it provides a unique environment for learning, critical thinking and debate on issues relating to interdisciplinary ecosystem and biodiversity research.

'...we seized the learning environment to develop academic skills, constructively criticize the science we are producing, approach ecosystem services from different perspectives...'

In her blog, Ana says that ALTER-Net Summer School students were '... stimulated to think critically about the research produced in the realm of ecosystem services, its potential to impact policy, and to push for positive change in society.'

She also describes the unique setting that makes Peyresq such an incredible place for learning. She writes 'As a result of the combination between interesting participants, inspiring place, exquisite cuisine and high level discussions, we seized the learning environment to develop academic skills, constructively criticize the science we are producing, approach ecosystem services from different perspectives, discuss their contributions and areas for improvement, and build meaningful connections with people who share similar interests.'

Ana, originally from Brazil, holds a degree in biology. Her primary research interest lie in human and environmental interactions, especially regarding environmental governance towards social and ecological sustainability. You can read her full blog here.