Transcript of "Final report from Campus Ås on Fascination of Plants Day” 18 May 2012 in the University Park at UMB"
Final report from Campus Ås on Fascination of Plants Day”18 May 2012 in the University Park at UMBBy Cecilie A. MathiesenBackgroundFriday 18 May was the first "Fascination of Plants Day" (FoPDay) organized byNorwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and the two Norwegian researchinstitutes; Crop Sciences and Forest and Landscapes. It is the first time such anevent has been held all over the world on the same day. European Plant ScienceOrganisation (EPSO) took the initiative and the idea spread quickly.PreparationSince January, the "18 May Committee" have held meetings each 2nd-3rd weekwith representatives from the different institutions involved. Initiator andcoordinator of the event in Norway, Trine Hvoslef-Eide, has worked with theNorwegian Research Council to establish financial support to science relatedevents. The University of Oslo, Norwegian institute of Forests and Landscape andUMB was granted a joint application (5/11/12) and got financial support for 50%of expenses up to NOK 400 000, -. The department of plant and environmentalsciences (IPM) hired a project coordinator at UMB (from 03/24/12) who workedwith key areas such as press and publicity, planning and descriptions of events andlogistics (program layout, signage, student workers, etc.). Due to late funding agood project scope was not possible and the focus was mainly on to get tasksfinished in time.The programIn summary we had a nice and varied program for the day, based on what thevarious institutions and departments were interested in to contribute with. Wereached a broad audience from garden enthusiasts, retirees, prospective students tofamilies with children. See attached program for details.The result.Students handed out about 200 programs (only 1 per group) during the day andabout 100 copies of the Nature and Culture trail. At the Centre for Plant Researchin Controlled Climate (SKP) plant enthusiasts came to buy bedding plantsproduced by students, for the benefit of schooling for a girl of 5 years in Tanzania(see picture) for about NOK 17 000, -). People also came to solve quizzes, taste
microalgae, and hear six different 30 minutes lectures for the general public duringthe day. Audience varied between 10-25 people and one of the lectures was theteaching tool “Why study plants?”, translated into Norwegian. Approximately 30people attended the historic walk in the park. There was a steady stream all dayfamilies with children among livestock at IHA. It was possible to visit“Sansehagen” (usually closed to the public), developed for people with dementia togive them calming experiences with plants.Some photo impressions of the day:Photo: Trine Hvoslef-Eide Photo: Trine Hvoslef-Eide Photo: Trine Hvoslef-EidePhoto: Lars Hopland Photo: Lars HoplandPhoto: Kari Boger Photo: Lars Hopland Photo: Trine Hvoslef-EidePhoto: Kari Boger
ExperiencesAfter arranging "Fascination of Plants Day" for the first time, we are happy as to have put inplace a nice arrangement filling the University park with people who seemed to enjoy themselves.We have had some experience and have the following recommendations if repeated:A. Project StructureIt was not enough time at hand for the National Coordinator to coordinate well enough atCampus early. We started with the planning, but lacked implementation force before we hadextra hands in March. Next year people will know more about the arrangement and probably bemore helpful than this first time.We recommend a specific and structured project next time by having a local coordinator in placemuch earlier than this year. Then we will:- Invite the participation and involve level of management early (before Christmas) to put theevent on the agenda early- Have an implementation plan with deadlines from start (early February) for all people involved- Secure contribution from Communications Departments as it is important for audience andadvertising effectB. Student Helpers and Logistics- It worked well with the signs to parking and info at the GG-hall with the distribution ofprograms in the parking, at the bus stop (UMB) and the Agricultural Museum.- Students enrolled to service after advertisement on central bulletin boards, especially effectivewas the announcement of need for student helpers using the student web portal Athene.-A total of 14 students were hired and are paid for working during FoPDay, it was an appropriatenumber. In addition, there were 9 students from the course “Småplanteproduksjon” in practiceworking with plant sale at SKP.C. The arrangementsEvent Descriptions and details of the program should be in place earlier (at least 1 1/2 weeksbefore the event) so it can make in tips to the press, press release and on Web sites earlier. Thistime the main features of the program was described earlier (1 May on posters and on the web),but details was not ready before Tuesday 15 May. In addition, some presentation titles shouldhave been more audience-friendly title (eg ". Fremavl") and some tours would be better describedwith a meeting point and defined time (eg. "Korsmo weed garden" and "crops of weeds").Hopefully, multiple departments at UMB involved in this positive event if it happens again.D. Plan for the advertising and media coverageThe project coordinator has worked a lot with advertising and media, and has also workedextensively with the Department of Communications with advertising posters, signs, a localwebpage (www.umb.no/plantday12 ) and program. Due to the absence of Department ofCommunication the week before the 18th and lack of time there was made no: - Internal news prior to the event
- No big press release for the day/event (only tip to press)E. The potential for student recruitment was nor exploited this year due to lack of time, but thisshould be done next time.ConclusionAll those involved are happy with the arrangement and the head of IPM, Øystein Johnsen,supports a continuation of this arrangement.The people involvedTrine Hvoslef-Eide, Cecilie Mathiesen, Odd Arne Rognli, Corinna S. Clewing, Roar Moe, BirgitteMosveen, Stein Valsø, Linda Vesterlund, Nina Sæther Forests Lars Dalen, Helge Sjursen, SiljeRoksti, Gry Skjeseth, Kari Boger, Karsten Jørgensen, Day Guttormsen, Cristel Munster andMarianne Thorsen GonzalezPress and publicityhttp://www.umb.no/plantday12, http://www.plantday12.euhttp://www.umb.no/forsiden/artikkel/yrende-liv-pa-plantedagenÅs avis:We got a nice piece in the local newspaper on the importance of GM tools for plant science:http://www.aasavis.no/nyheter/article6066358.ece,http://www.aasavis.no/bildeserier/article6066369.eceØstlandets Blad:http://www.oblad.no/nyheter/dyrket-frem-billig-tobakk-1.7315470Appendix1. Advertising posters (4 different versions of the same text to grab attention)2. The program for the day