“Living soil” – a campaign for young students

The Institute for Environmental Solutions, partner in the GrassLIFE project, is inviting schoolchildren to take part in the campaign “Living soil” – to engage in the citizen science action to study grasslands and soil. The data obtained during this campaign will help scientists working to research Latvian grasslands – our priceless natural resource.

Rūta Abaja, a researcher in the Institute for Environmental Solutions: “Living soil” campaign is a collaboration between the Institute for Environmental Solutions, the researchers in University of Latvia, the Eco-school programme and Latvijas Mazpulki. The aim of this campaign is to involve pupils in a research process and children from all across Latvia have already taken up the challenge.”
Coordinators of this project emphasise that, by taking part in the campaign, the children will develop early research skills as well as obtain valuable knowledge regarding soil and various organisms living in it. Furthermore, the data collected will support scientists in studying Latvian semi-natural grasslands.

According to Rūta Abaja, grasslands are one of the most valuable natural resources in our country. The quality and fertility of these lands is determined by the state of soil, population of insects, fungi, bacteria as well as other organisms. The diversity of these populations is affected by the state of soil, the weather, climate change as well as management practices. In order to help maintaining the diversity of grasslands, it is crucial to get acquainted with and care for the living creatures of the soil.

“Living soil” campaign will take place from May 2021 and will run until September 2021. The main instrument in this citizen science project is going to be a tea bag. The participants are going to be tasked with weighing and burying the tea bags in soil of a semi-natural grassland, lawn or pasture at the start of the summer. Then, the structure of the soil will also have to be evaluated. When the summer ends, participants will dig up the teabags and determine the degree of decomposition of the tea. The data on change in the weight of teabags during the experiment will be accumulated and sent to the scientists.

You can follow the campaign on the website for the Institute for Environmental Solutions as well as on their social media.


Video about “Living soil” campaign



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