A key objective of UB Forest is that, the forest is a place for education. This is also a key objective of the SUNRISE project, and we are supporting this through the involvement of a large number of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, within the research work, in addition to UB junior and senior staff. Working with UB staff and students, UKCEH scientists have shared their experiences in developing long term experiments and have provided specialist training on the use of microclimate sensors, data management and analysis. Student projects have include studies of litter decomposition, exploration of understory vegetation and diversity and surveys of farmer’s perception of the role of earthworms in soil health.
A recent survey of UB students and staff has highlighted how they have benefited from involvement within the SUNRISE project, for example before the project under 10 % of the staff and students said they had good understanding of microclimate sensors, rising to 50 % as the project has progressed. Similarly the proportion of staff and students who feel they have a “good” understanding of data management has increased from 20 % to over 60 %. Students and staff have commented on the range of knowledge and skills they have developed, for example:
- Respondent 4: “Yes it [the collaboration] has benefit for me, particularly my knowledge on microclimate sensor installation and data handling. I believe this sets of capability will help me a lot for my future research on the land use management and microclimate nexus”
- Respondent 6: “the UKCEH-UB collaboration project has given me many benefits such as give me more knowledge about social-economic, pest and disease and agronomy in UB Forest, enhance network and increase confident to speak in public. Futhermore, I learn to be able to write for international publication”.
- Respondent 13: “Collaborative research between UB and UKCEH is very useful to improve the ability in the field of research and scientific writing. English speaking skills are also honed to be able to present the results of research properly. This ability becomes a provision to continue master's degree and become a lecturer in the future”