Faculty of Biology holds a popular science session for schoolchildren

5 December 2019 Faculty of Biology
The last Saturday of November was busy: the Faculty of Biology at Altai State University held a popular science session of professional scientists and civil science, which turned out to be a celebration of a large family of like-minded people who were passionate about one thing, the study and conservation of nature.

The holiday with the participation of two hundred people turned out to be major, bright and sincere thanks to its host, the curator of Adopt Nature Reserve program Lyudmila Pozhidaeva. Dean of the Faculty of Biology Marina M. Silantyeva set a good mood at the start for all schoolchildren and young researchers. She urged the guys not to be afraid of anything, but to surprise and tell those present about their achievements. Marina M. Silantyeva invited students to join the ranks of applicants and future students of the Faculty of Biology. The representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Altai Krai, Head of the Department of Specially Protected Natural Areas Ilya V. Dudin warmly greeted all those present. He praised the work of all who provided their observations on rare species of plants and animals for the second issue of the Bulletin on the Red Book of Altai Krai. Such work is valuable and important. The bulletins are used in the work of inspectors of all services related to nature and its protection. Ilya V. Dudin informed the audience about the creation of four new natural monuments in our region. All of them appeared due to the activity and perseverance of local active communities – school groups, three of which were present at the event.

Marina M. Silantyeva thanked the graduates of the Faculty of Biology for being faithful to their alma mater and organizing a great diverse work with schoolchildren as part of the Adopt Nature Reserve regional program. Ludmila Pozhidaeva, Alexey Ebel, Alexey Gribkov and Victor Nikulkin received letters of appreciation and souvenirs. In general, there were many different awards throughout the holiday; they were successfully woven into the outline of the script and cheered up young researchers and their teachers.

The session continued with presentations by young researchers. They presented their scientific works in different forms, it was interesting and not tiring. All oral presentations were accompanied by photographs of wildlife that were made by the students themselves. So, the Ecopatrul team from Krutikhinsky District introduced new habitats of rare bird species in the Aleusky and Kornilovsky Wildlife Sanctuaries: black stork, gray owl, white-tailed eagle, great spotted eagle, great black-headed gull and some others. During the expeditions they discovered rare species of plants: a three-leafed shift, a slipper drip, a quadrangular water lily. In addition, during the year they observed birds near the villages of Zakovryashino and Buyan, noting their great diversity.

Elizaveta Ustenko from the school forestry “Keepers of the Forest” in the village of Titovka in the Yegoryevsky District told what interesting excursions in the reserve they spend with huntsman Alexander V. Tuev, how they participate in biotechnological events: they make and hang up artificial nests, equip salt licks, and winter feeding places for ungulates. In winter, children help keep track of animals, and during the summer multi-day trips they study the flora and fauna of the Yegoryevsky Reserve.

Vlad Vladimirov from the children's tourist detachment "Caravan" in the Pervomaisky District spoke about a great place – the Golubtsovsky slopes near the village of Golubtsovo, Zarinsky District. This is an untouched part of the steppe, where unique flora and fauna have been preserved. Thanks to the perseverance and great joint work of “Caravan”, scientists, botanists and zoologists who determined the species living here, as well as other specialists, the steppe site received the status of a nature monument of regional significance.

From a speech by Dasha Vasilyeva (school forestry “Training and Research Laboratory”, Yegoryevsky District), the attendees learned that thanks to the guys in the tract Trunov Lug, cattle grazing and driving along one of the rural roads were regulated, because it threatened to destroy the population of the Red Book grouse . Since then, the area of growth of this rare species has begun to increase. Young researchers noted rare species of birds in the vicinity of their village. The children conduct educational work among the villagers, as well as excursions for younger students on the ecological trail.

Ksenia Leushina from the ecological and local lore group “I am a researcher!” conducted a virtual tour “Miracles are just around” for all those present. It was developed by schoolchildren on the basis of their sponsored territory – the Kamenka river valley, and they regularly conduct such excursions along the real ecological path for all visitors to the village of Altayskoye.

Zhenya Solomakhin, a schoolboy from the city of Novoaltaysk, a member of the Sphere photo club, participated as a volunteer in the hard work in the summer – equipping the pedestrian part of the Eric Laksman ecological trail route in the Tigirek Nature Reserve. Together with his brother Rostislav, they made a film about the arrangement of the ecological path, which was shown to the audience.

From the performances of schoolchildren, it was perfectly clear what enormous cognitive and educational value the ecological path has, both natural and virtual.

Young environmentalists from Barnaul Gymnasium No. 79 shared the results of their work, as well as plans for the coming year. Among other things, they had an important mission at the event. In the spring of this year, Adopt Nature Reserve program became a laureate in the Green Planet nomination for the regional stage of the federal competition for the National Civic Initiative Award and received the prize for the Living Drop regional award. It was decided to make this prize transitional so that it would travel everywhere where the activists of Adopt Nature Reserve live. After the award ceremony, the prize remained with the students of Gymnasium No. 79, and during the current conference they transferred it to the next team – “Young Naturalist” from the Zarinsky District.

The holiday continued with the premiere of two magnificent films created by the head of the tourist group “Caravan” Alexander Skachko and five boys actively participating in the work of the group. The films were beautiful, the main characters were the Caravan members themselves. After watching movies, everyone had a sense of joy and happiness. The first film was dedicated to the creation of a nature monument of regional significance “Golubtsov Slopes”. The second one was about Lake Dalnee, the future natural monument, the creation of which this team of inquisitive researchers is currently working on.

Ecologist Viktor Nikulkin introduced the participants of the scientific and practical session to the project “Practical Science for Schoolchildren. University Level", which received the support of the Presidential Grants Fund. Within the framework of the project, it is planned to bring the work of the Adopt Preserve program to a new level, to establish closer cooperation between schoolchildren and students, teachers and university lecturers, and scientists. In the summer season, joint research expeditions will be carried out to different regions of Altai Krai, and in autumn all project participants will meet again at the university to discuss the results of the work done and outline plans for the future.

The expert of Adopt Nature Reserve program, ornithologist and photographer Alexey Ebel, spoke about new biological professions that would be in demand in 2025 abroad and in Russia. He presented a new project “Cedar Islands”, which involved the restoration of cedar in the Salair Ridge, where scientists were creating the Togul National Park. The place for the project was not chosen by chance, since the reserve territory is a guarantee of the future conservation of cedar forests. This long-term work has a great potential for cooperation with the local residents of all surrounding areas.
The conference content was made even more capacious by 20 colorful poster presentations prepared by young participants. Over the course of several years, children have been studying the flora and fauna of meadows, rivers, wildlife sanctuaries, and the environs of their villages, paying special attention to the places of growth and habitat of rare species from the Red Book – this information formed the basis of their work.

On behalf of all those present, the teachers thanked the organizers for an interesting and informative event.

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