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Center Retreat

On April 29th – 30th, BIOCHANGE hosted a center retreat for BIOCHANGE members at Skanderborghus Hotel in Skanderborg. The retreat focused on the research conducted across the BIOCHANGE community in relation to the BIOCHANGE research themes, skills sharing & knowledge transfer, and science communication.

29.04.2019 | Dennis Pedersen

The main aim of the retreat was to bring the BIOCHANGE community together in a different setting to provide a platform for teambuilding (with scientific content) and capacity building though knowledge exchange and skills sharing through a mix of plenary talks, workshops, walk 'n talks, and activities in smaller groups along with free time to have fun and interact.

On day one, we wanted to provide insight into the BIOCHANGE vision and objectives, and research themes through talks by our four core members, as we have had a big turnover of early career scientists since our last gathering in April 2018. We also wanted to give people an opportunity to see how everyone is positioned in the center and how the individual research projects fit into the general framework of BIOCHANGE through an interactive network analysis and a LEGO Serious Play workshop. The network analysis was based on the ranking of different research-related keywords by each person. Everyone was split into various different groups in five rounds, one for each of the BIOCHANGE themes and one based on shared skills in the group. None of the groups were alike, which basically indicated that we each share research focus and skills sets with many different people in BIOCHANGE and not only with people in our immediate research teams. Adding to this exercise, we introduced LEGO Serious Play in an interactive workshop, which had several aims. Each person built their own research in LEGO and subsequently used the LEGO build as visual aid to talk about their research to 6 other people in three rounds (with new people) and relate the research to the four BIOCHANGE themes. As a final task, everyone had to place connections to other people at their final table to open up for further interactions amongst the BIOCHANGE members across research teams.

The second day of the retreat focused on an introduction to public speaking by Ashley Pearcy Buitenwerf followed by several concurrent sessions hosted by BIOCHANGE members (Ashley Pearcy Buitenwerf, Scott Jarvie, Peder Bøcher, Kai Yue, Wang Li, Robert Buitenwerf, Michael Munk, Emilio Berti, Susanne Vogel, and Sofie Monsarrat) on dissemination, more public speaking, creating maps in R, meta-analysis dos and don’ts, intro to Google Earth Engine, introduction to the power of photographs, introduction to Linux, and to the potential of raspberry pis. Thanks again all for going the extra mile and contributing these interesting workshops/activities and sharing your skills and know-how.

Text by Anne Blach Overgaard