Welcome to the second instalment of the education corner, a new contribution to highlight the activities of the SPPS Education Committee. First we would like to start by introducing the committee members and sharing news of some recent changes. Currently Dr. Jodi Maple-Grødem, the senior member from the University of Stavanger in Norway, chairs the committee. Jodi takes over as Chairperson from Prof. Lisbeth Jonsson from Stockholm University in Sweden, who has stepped down. Dr. Carin Jarl-Sunesson, the senior member from Lund University in Sweden, and Ms. Eva Knoch, the student member from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, have also recently finished their terms on the committee.
We would like to thank those leaving and also those who have previously served. We have had an enjoyable experience working together during the early formative years of the education committee. We wish the best of luck to all of you in your future endeavors. The other remaining members are Ass. Prof. Tom Hamborg Nielsen, who is the senior member from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Dr. Kirk Overmyer, the senior member representing Finland from the University of Helsinki and Ms. Marja Rantanen, the Finnish student member, also from the University of Helsinki.
As you may have noticed above, the committee is composed of at least two representatives from each of the Nordic countries; usually with a senior level representative and a student representative, who both typically serve for a three year term. You may have also noticed that with several members reaching the end of their terms or student members stepping down due to graduation, we currently need to recruit new representatives. We invite you to visit our website for further information about the committee and its activities and contact your country’s representative if you are interested in serving with us.
Committee service has many benefits including an opportunity to network and gain international organizational experience. Not to mention the travel around Scandinavia and the important work to promote plant science education. Plant science has many grand challenges, such as food, energy and health, which will have a real deep impact on humanity over the next generation. YOU can make a difference; so do your part and get involved today!
The Education committee is in the process of making the leap into social media. We will use these modern tools to communicate with our fellow SPPS members and the general public. In late February we have started our new Facebook page which you can find under the name facebook.com/SPPSEducation. Please visit our Facebook page and “like” us to follow posts and links related to plant science and plant science education. We need more SPPS members to engage with us on the page and help spread the news among persons interested in plant science by “sharing” our link on their walls. It is a fun and informative way to spend a coffee break; come over and give us a click.
For the more visually orientated who enjoy beautiful and interesting pictures of plants we also have a Pinterest page (pinterest.com/sppsedcom), which features separate sections for pictures related to, among others, “plants in the classroom”, “amazing plants” and “the importance of plants to mankind”. We also plan to start a Twitter account and our own blog for sharing news and information about the committee’s work. Links to these new sites will be shared in the next newsletter and on our existing social media sites. Look for those to appear in the near future!
By SPPS Education Committee member Kirk Overmyer, University of Helsinki, Plant Biology