Practice makes a professional

5 people on a boat, one is taking notes from a drop video.
New field surveyors of field season 2019 are learning the drop video technique at Metsähallitus field boat. Photo by Sjef Heijnen, Metsähallitus.

Biological field season at sea always starts around June. New people come to work, some of them for the first time. There are also interns who haven’t even finished their university or other degrees yet. The first two things that need to be done in the beginning of the field season are to teach or remind everyone about working safely at sea and about how to do the job.

All skills – navigation, species identification, first aid, methods, sea rescue and different types of accidents – are practiced together at the beginning of the field season. Photos: Teemu Uutela, Suvi Saarnio, Sjef Heijnen, Metsähallitus

Sea or field safety is an important thing. Most of the people who come to work in Metsähallitus or Länsstyrelsen in the marine teams already know about navigation, code of conduct at sea and first aid, but there are always new people who don’t know as much as the rest. Also, it pays to do a little rehearsing and freshening up last summer’s teachings even with people who have worked at the sea for many summers.

7 people on 2 boat, wearing survival suits, helmets and life jackets.
Local Search and rescue team was happy to take part in a sea rescue and first aid training session. Photo Suvi Saarnio, Metsähallitus.

Another thing that needs to be gone through is how to do the job properly. The “old” field surveyors might want to freshen up their skills and compare them with others, and new employees and interns have to learn all the equipment and methods for the first time.

Underwater nature field inventory methods have to be practiced as well. Photos Suvi Saarnio, Essi Keskinen, Ashley Gipson, Metsähallitus.

The first week or two will always go to orienteering, but that will also guarantee that the data quality is good and that everything is done as safely as possible.

Written by Essi Keskinen, Metsähallitus

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