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Where the sea meets the river - Blog

Greetings from the Foggy City!

30.10.11, 18:48 (comments: 2)

Well, I’ve been here in Klaipėda for almost two months now and it’s safe to say I’m settled in! Fortunately for me, I have lived in a few rainy places before so I’ve got to be quite good at dealing with the weather, but for those coming from the south of Europe...well, let’s just say that we now call them ‘Babooshkas’ to describe their granny-like efforts to stay at home to avoid the outdoors (and society!). The first few weeks here were spent acclimatizing: exploring the city to find local markets and cheap places to eat, visiting some of Lithuania’s national treasures like the Hill of Crosses, the pretty tourist town of Palanga and, of course, the Curonian Lagoon situated between Klaipėda and the Baltic Sea.

The Curonian Lagoon (or Kuršių marios) was formed by glaciers around 5000 years ago, along with the Curonian Spit, a thin strip of land running parallel to the West coast of Lithuania which forms the barrier between the estuary and the Baltic Sea. It is here that I will be studying and making comparisons with the Ria Formosa Lagoon in the south of Portugal, where I spent the last year doing the first year of my Masters. Aside from the obvious geographical and climatological differences, I will try to explain the main differences between the two ecosystems using their associated biology, ecology, oceanography (an area of ocean science I am still getting to know!) and also some anthropogenic influences.

I am currently attending a few different classes:

  • Coastal Zone Management and Sustainable Tourism, a topic that is very new to me and provides an insight into the socio-economics of marine conservation
  • Aquatic Invasive Species, which teaches us how non-indigenous species can be transported all over the world and their impacts on other ecosystems
  • Cultural History of the Baltic Sea, a class aimed at exploring all aspects of Baltic life
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture, an intensive course with a very interesting project! (see below)

So at this moment in time, I find myself investing a great deal of time in this Fisheries and Aquaculture project, which is quite demanding but probably one of the most fun pieces of work I have found myself doing in recent years. Very enjoyable indeed! We have been split into teams of 4 people and have been handed a scenario in which we have been shipwrecked in 1784 and must survive by means of the knowledge we have acquired throughout the course. Now, this sounds very easy so far, especially when you have been given the material needed to solve these problems... However, things aren’t always as easy as they seem, are they? J

Olivia Hyam

Erasmus Mundus Masters in Marine Conservation and Biodiversity

 

Image taken from Wikipedia

 

Here we learned some historical tales of Pagan Lithuania

 

 

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Add a comment

Comment by Lia Laporta | 03.11.11

Liv! Congratulations on the blog, loved reading your lithuanian tales...! xx

Comment by Jason | 17.11.11

I like it! The Baltic seems so different from every other part of the ocean I've seen. We need more entries!

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