AQUA-TNET NEWSLETTER

Final Issue

September 2014

This is a free e-mail news service provided by Aqua-tnet for the Aqua-tnet network and its partners. Aqua-tnet is the European Thematic Network in the field of aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management, funded under the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, from 2011 - 2014.

In the newsletter you will find an update of Aqua-tnet and its activities, as well as information from the European Commission related to European education matters.

Please forward this newsletter to your colleagues and students. This is the final issue of the Aqua-tnet newsletter. However you can still keep informed about education, training, news and events in marine science, aquaculture and related sectors by subscribing to AquaTT's Training News.

CONTENTS

Thank You!

Aqua-tnet: Reflecting on 18 Years of Collaboration

Thank You from the AquaTT Team

A Student Research Stay At Your Research Institute is a Great Opportunity for Both! - Survey for Research Institutes

Aqua-tnet Aquaculture International Special Issue

"Brilliant" and "Encouraging" Aqua-tnet Workshop on Digital Skills for Teachers, June 2014, Malta

AquaCase 3.0 Aquaculture at the Case Level

Aqua-tnet @ Aquaculture Europe 2014

Timesheets Reminder

PROGRAMMES, COURSES & PEOPLE

AQUA-TNET CALENDAR

AQUATT TRAINING NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

PISCESTT JOBS

 

Thank You!

John Bostock, Aqua-tnet Project Coordinator, University of Stirling, UK

As this is the last edition of Aqua-tnet News under Erasmus Lifelong Learning Programme funding for thematic networks, I would like to say a very big thank you on behalf of myself and all my colleagues at the University of Stirling for all your contributions and hard work towards the many successes of the project.

It has been a privilege and a pleasure to meet and work with so many people from around Europe with a shared passion for innovation and development in the areas of aquaculture and fisheries teaching and learning.

If you attended any Aqua-tnet meetings or shared in any of the work package activities, I hope you feel you learned something new that has positively affected your own approach to teaching or learning. It may be hard to quantify, but I feel sure that aquaculture and fisheries students around Europe will have enjoyed a better educational experience as a result of the Aqua-tnet project.

With the end of EU Lifelong Learning Programme funding for Aqua-tnet, the future is somewhat uncertain. As a minimum, the network objectives and the rationale for collaboration will be channelled through other European organisations, particularly the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) and the European Aquaculture Society (EAS). The drive and enthusiasm of individual members will also inevitably lead to future collaborative projects that take advantage of the new Erasmus+ funding programmes or other regional or national sources. There is also a strong hope that Aqua-tnet can provide one of the foundation stones for a wider international network for aquaculture and aquatic science teaching and learning.

A record of our collective learning is currently being assembled in the form of a special edition of Aquaculture International, which we hope and expect will provide a useful resource for future initiatives. As far as possible, key outputs from the project will continue to be made available through the Aqua-tnet website and the social network channels will remain open for sharing of ideas and resources. This monthly Aqua-tnet newsletter will no longer be published, but AquaTT plan to continue to distribute education and training news through the sister publication Training News.

In summary, the Aqua-tnet III project is closing down, but as a network and community of practice, Aqua-tnet will live on. Its strength and focus will depend very much on you as active members of the community. There is a saying in English a trouble shared is a trouble halved. The converse of that must be an opportunity shared is an opportunity doubled. Keep sharing your passions for teaching and learning in the areas of aquatic science and food production and much more can be achieved.

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Aqua-tnet: Reflecting on 18 Years of Collaboration

Margaret Eleftheriou, AquaTT & AQUALEX Multimedia Consortium (AMC) Ltd.

Itʼs not easy to sum up personal feelings about the Aqua-tnet partnership, which has been going, at the last count, for eighteen years; almost two decades! It is certainly not the moment to dwell on its less pleasing aspects: the increasing administrative demands, the need to meet deadlines, the drive to complete deliverables (Iʼm sure we all have our own little gripes!).

It is the right time to remember, record and perhaps commemorate the very personal and positive side of this decades-long partnership. But I promise to be brief.

The start-up itself provokes an indelible memory of Richard Fitzgerald, Mike Thompson and myself who had all managed to coincide in Heathrow on the way to other meetings. We sat hunched over a tiny table amid the clash of glasses and voices in an upstairs café in Terminal 1, putting the final touches to the initial proposal and even rehearsing the pitch that had to be made the next day in Brussels. We concentrated so hard that I missed my connecting flight to Edinburgh. The Aqua-tnet proposal went through but my Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) colleagues were not too happy!

On another proposal-writing occasion, in the Belgian Academy of Sciences, those present focused so hard on the task in hand that we didnʼt notice that the building had closed for the night, with the result that we were locked into our ground floor meeting room, and could only exit the building by climbing out of an open window.

Creating a network of partners willing to work under the rather stringent conditions imposed by the Thematic Network structure depends to a large extent on trust built up over many years, a trust that comes not only from formal academic collaboration, but also from the camaraderie of informal social activities.

Aqua-tnet always provided many of these shared experiences: experiencing the delights (!) of tram journeys in venues as varied as Krakow, Amsterdam and Istanbul; arriving late at deserted air terminals, waiting for a minibus to take us 200 bumpy miles to the invariably warm welcome at journeyʼs end; the floods in Hungary and the drought in Crete. And let us not forget Kuopio in Finland! One can never feel quite the same about colleagues with whom one has shared a real Nordic sauna, plunging straight into the icy waters, emerging shivering to a feast of barbecued fish. 

We beavered away at our self-appointed tasks, and were only mildly surprised to discover that our lists of subject-specific and generic skills had anticipated the well-funded and well-publicised TUNING sets of skills.

Of course I have hardly scratched the surface of the many positive aspects of Aqua-tnet, but I said I would be brief!

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Thank You from the AquaTT Team

Dear Aqua-tnet partners,

Thank you for all your cooperation, hard work and dedication during the past 18 years! It has been a pleasure working with you all. We hope that the legacy of Aqua-tnet will be new collaborations and continuing relationships under the new ERASMUS+ and Horizon 2020 programmes.

You can continue to keep up with news, training and education opportunities and events in the marine, aquaculture and fisheries sector through Training News. You can also find news from AquaTT and our projects on Twitter and LinkedIn. Jobs and PhD opportunities will continue to be posted on PiscesTT Jobs.

With warmest regards,

The AquaTT Team

 

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A Student Research Stay At Your Research Institute is a Great Opportunity for Both!

Survey for Research Institutes

Dear Colleague

Internships or short research stays prove to be a unique opportunity for students to learn to apply acquired knowledge, while it offers research institutes the chance to screen young and enthusiastic employees for a dedicated period and subject.

Aqua-tnet wishes to facilitate the connection between students looking for suitable internship opportunities and research institutes that wish to receive good students.

Aqua-tnets aquaculture education portal (see screen shot below) is arguably the most complete searchable database of European higher aquaculture & fisheries education and offers learners and education providers an extremely convenient tool to find information on courses, PhD opportunities, mobility opportunities and more. However, information regarding opportunities for student training in research institutes on the portal is currently still very limited.

 

Screenshot of the Aqua-tnet Education portal (aquatnet.djangofoo.io).

In order to advertise internship opportunities at research institutes and help potential internship candidates to find a suitable host institute, we wish to collect concise information on opportunities for short research stays at your research institute. The collected information will be incorporated in the education portal.

May we ask you to complete this online survey (10 questions) or forward it to whoever is dealing with student placements at your institute.

Thank you for your cooperation!

The Aqua-tnet team

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Aqua-tnet Aquaculture International Special Issue 

Margaret Eleftheriou

It was during the EAS International Conference in Prague. We were on a short break away from the hubbub of parallel sessions, presentations, posters, the Lindsay Laird award, working at various stalls, answering questions

A suggestion was tossed into our conversation: Why doesnt Aqua-tnet consider putting together a Special Issue? The network has produced a large amount of good solid work which has been reported only in Interim and Final Reports.

Gavin Burnell, Chief Editor of Aquaculture International, agreed that this was not such a bad idea. I thought of all the Aqua-tnet surveys undertaken, reports written and submitted, never to surface again, and agreed that it was certainly something that should be considered. I even thought that it could probably be done quite quickly. All that needed to be done was to find a publisher, decide on the content (areas/chapters/articles) and ask our ever-compliant work package leaders to get on with it.

Fast forward two years and another EAS International Conference has just taken place. Two years have taught me a lot about the mechanics and finances of academic publications, not to mention the vagaries of authorship.    

BUT the Special Issue of Aquaculture International entitled Advances in Teaching and Learning in Aquaculture (ISSN 0967-6120) is now in its last stages before publication.

The Aquat-net work package leaders, whose voice I have appropriated in this editorial blurb, feel sure that you, our members and readers, will truly appreciate the papers published in this very Special Issue of Aquaculture International.

Our thanks to Gavin Burnell, who enabled a passing suggestion to materialise, and to Springers backroom editorial staff for their professionalism (and forbearance!).

Some of the papers that can already be accessed online. The rest are in the final review or production stages.

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"Brilliant" and "Encouraging" Aqua-tnet Workshop on Digital Skills for Teachers, June 2014, Malta

Dr Bernd Ueberschär, Gesellschaft für Marine Aquakultur mbH (GMA)

In June 2014, a two-day workshop on digital skills was organised under Work Package 5C. This workshop was organised prior to the final annual meeting of Aqua-tnet III. Participation was free of charge, but a registration was required. In total, 19 participants registered for the workshop, which offered detailed instructions on five different topics: Video Production, Audio Production, Social Media, Sharing Presentations and E-Portfolio. The participants were asked in advance to choose three out of the five topics to learn in the workshop.

In order to evaluate the success of the workshop, a post-participation survey was carried out (Fig.1). The participants were asked 12 questions which allowed the organising team and the teachers to understand the "pros and cons" of the workshop, from the participant's point of view.

The majority of the participants were interested to learn about video and audio production. Fig. 2 depicts the topics chosen by the individuals.

Fig.1: Post-participatory survey which was sent to the participants about four weeks after the workshop event in Malta. 

Fig. 2: Which three out of the five topics was your choice in the workshop? The y-axis depicts the number of votes.

The overall rating of the workshop was good to excellent. The duration of the workshop was considered by the majority as sufficient. Instructors were well rated as knowledgeable about the subject and the preparation of the teachers was rated as good to excellent. The technical preparation of the workshop including the hand-outs was considered to be good to excellent by the majority or participants.

An important result from the feedback is the opinion of the participants regarding their overall learning success. Most of the participants rated their success as good or excellent (Fig. 3).

The majority of the participants (85%) feel confident with their new digital skills and 79% of the participants consider themselves now experienced enough to continue to use the three tools they have learned in the workshop. Fig. 4 indicates that about 50% of the participants are already using the new skills; many others are planning to apply their new expertise soon. However, some participants indicated that they do not yet feel confident and that they would need some more practice before introducing the new skills into their teaching.

85% of the participants were sure that their new digital skills will help to improve their teaching. About 86% of the participants will try to encourage colleagues and other teacher to improve their digital skills, which indicates excellent confidence in the workshop success.

Fig. 3: What is your feeling about your overall learning success?

Fig. 4: Did you already make use, or are you planning to make use of your new expertise in your teaching environment? 

In summary, and considering the results and comments of the participants in response to the post-participatory survey, the workshop can be considered as a great success. It also became clear that there is a great need for this kind of supporting workshop, in order to facilitate the use of ICT in teaching in the field of aquatic sciences and aquaculture.

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AquaCase 3.0 Aquaculture at the Case Level

Yet another online source about aquaculture?

There is a lot of aquaculture-related information available online. AquaCase 3.0 (www.aquacase.org) is not just another source of bits and pieces about aquaculture but rather aims to provide a virtual tour of existing aquaculture facilities in order to provide much of the information students would get from a field trip. With this approach students can "visit" more real-world facilities, and get a more comprehensive overview of the existing European aquaculture industry.

In an educational context, this site is meant to promote problem-based learning using case studies of existing facilities. The case studies illustrate the context, variety and complexity of aquaculture production in Europe. The case studies in AquaCase are developed in cooperation with an industrial partner (usually the owner of the chosen facility), which ensures proper stakeholder involvement and a professional level of information which reflects well the present reality e.g. in fry and fish production.

The information gathered on the different facilities includes text, photos and videos and links to related online resources. Information is structured into sub-sections where special information is provided about the site, facility and equipment, planning and operation characteristics of the local community. The information provided shall be sufficient to understand the operation of a hatchery or a farm. For many of the cases, learning activities are also included.

In addition to this information, AquaCase 3.0 provides presentations about the basic status of aquaculture activities in the different European countries, presented as lectures by representatives of the related country. Moreover, various other information relevant for education in aquaculture is included. These latter resources are not necessarily from European aquaculture facilities, but may help to compare the European modes with those from other countries outside of Europe. These additional resources may be videos, brochures, publications, instructions, text books, graphs, pictures or links to interesting resources.

AquaCase 3.0 was developed in a joint effort between WP1 and WP5 in Aqua-tnet III and aims to strengthen the cooperation between European masters programmes and stakeholders through the development and sharing of learning resources and an innovative use of ICT tools. To further strengthen cooperation, the work packages have developed a common, online introductory course to European aquaculture. This masters level course consists of four modules and makes active use of the AquaCase website. Successful completion of the course will provide 5 ECTS credits with accrediting institutions. Information about the course will be posted on the Aquat-net and AquaCase websites.


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Aqua-tnet @ Aquaculture Europe 2014

Marieke Reuver (AquaTT) gave an oral presentation on Aqua-tnet during the Aquaculture Europe 2014 conference which took place from 14-17 October in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain. Her presentation, entitled Aqua-tnet: Adding Value to European Aquaculture Education, took place on Thursday, 16 October during the Knowledge Management, Transfer and Extension Networks session. Audience members were given an insight into the main outputs of relevance to the European aquaculture sector and the achievements of Aqua-tnet over the past 18 years in the area of European Aquaculture. 

John Bostock also gave a presentation entitled European Aquaculture A learning Industry.

Both of these presentations are now available on the Aqua-tnet website: www.aquatnet.com/index.php/222/aquaculture-europe-2014

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Timesheets Reminder

The Coordinator is continuing to follow up with all member organisations to ensure they fully account for time contributed to the project through timesheets and evidence of salary cost. EC funding support is dependent on this, so we ask all members to cooperate fully with these administrative requirements. If you have not been in correspondence about this, please get in touch via aquatnet3@gmail.com as a matter of urgency.

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PROGRAMMES, COURSES & PEOPLE

To search for PhD, MSc and mobility opportunities and courses and to access information on your colleagues in Aqua-tnet3, please visit the Aqua-tnet Education Gate. If you have any further additions or would like to make changes to your institution's information please contact Marieke Reuver at marieke@aquatt.ie

If you are a graduate and would like to post your request for an internship, or your company is seeking interns, please visit www.aquatnet.com/index.php/167/internships

 

 

 

 

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AQUA-TNET CALENDER

Please check the Aqua-tnet calendar for a live update of upcoming events, courses and workshops.


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AQUATT TRAINING NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

AquaTT's Training News is a free monthly e-newsletter. With the latest news from the European education community, opportunities for collaboration, announcements and a student corner, Training News is an important dissemination channel for education and training opportunities for the aquaculture and related sectors. CLICK HERE for the latest edition.

Please email news@aquatt.ie to submit your news which will reach more than 5,000 international subscribers.

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PISCESTT JOBS

PiscesTT Jobs is a free online recruitment service used by over 300 companies globally in Aquaculture, Fisheries and Marine Science. At the moment there are 10 interesting jobs/study opportunities. If you are interested in viewing or posting a vacancy please go to www.piscesttjobs.com or contact aquatt@aquatt.ie. Subscribe at www.piscesttjobs.com/feeds for live RSS updates.  

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About Aqua-tnet

This update is published by the Aqua-tnet Secretariat. For further information e-mail aquatnet@aquatt.ie Previous editions are archived on www.aquatnet.com.


DISCLAIMER: Aqua-tnet provides this newsletter as a free service to its partners. Most of the information is provided by
Aqua-tnet. Where it is not, the source of the news is provided in the text of the news brief or else Aqua-tnet attributes the news to the coordinating body as the "Data Source Provider". In no way does this newsletter intend to wrongly or inappropriately claim projects, news, etc. as its own nor is it responsible for incorrect information provided from other sources. The Aqua-tnet Newsletter is a dissemination tool and forum for both Aqua-tnet and its partners.