Bonus Projects


Hi, I’m Nico Stelljes. I would like to welcome you to my blog, where I’ll be writing about the research being done in Soils2Sea.

12.12.2016 17:37Writing workshop in Copenhagen


My ‘Nordic-November-Tour’ ended with a writing workshop in Copenhagen on November 28 and 29. BONUS Soils2Sea together with two other European projects working in the field of agricultural and water governance, teamed up for a workshop to produce a paper on co-governance in water issues. This paper will be based on different case studies and here we will have the chance to bring in our three local BONUS Soils2Sea case studies from Poland, Sweden, and Denmark. It was a very productive workshop, where the different case studies are presented and we discussed in smaller groups certain issues of the paper. We will collaboratively work on this paper to hopefully hand this in by mid 2017.

We were too busy at the workshop to take pictures, so below you can see some water related images from Copenhagen instead.






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02.12.2016 14:57Stakeholder Workshop in Denmark

One week after we had our workshop in Sweden (see blog-entry before), we had our workshop in the Danish case study area. The workshop was held at a location directly at the Baltic Sea. One good thing of having a workshop in winter time is the possibility to see the sunrise over the beach. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera that morning to capture the moment.

The workshop was organized in cooperation with the local catchment council. There was very large interest for the meeting and the registration had to be closed two days before the meeting due to limited space. In total, 27 stakeholder (most of them farmer from the catchment) attended the workshop. It was a very fruitful workshop with a lot of discussions at our world-café tables. I think it was a very successful end of our two rounds of local stakeholder workshop.

More information about the workshop can be found here soon:

Here are some pictures from Norsminde and the workshop:
Early morning in Norsminde

The Baltic Sea

Workshop participants

Presentation of BONUS Soils2Sea

World Café (picture I)

World Café (picture II)

World Café (picture III)

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01.12.2016 17:17(Almost) Lost in translation

On November 16 we had our second workshop in Sweden. It was held in Klagstorp, situated in the catchment of Tullstorp. This was the first workshop within BONUS Soils2Sea where we had an international exchange of stakeholders, because we invited seven Polish stakeholders. In general I really enjoy working in European projects, because I get the chance to meet a lot of very nice and interesting people. This is especially true, when I get the chance to meet very different ‘stakeholder’, having different backgrounds, occupations, etc. But sometimes, it can be a bit much, for example when communications across different languages and countries becomes difficult. This was partly the cause at our workshop in Sweden. All of our BONUS Soils2Sea stakeholder workshops are in the local language. This time, with the Polish guests, we had a translator to translate the discussions and presentations from Swedish to Polish and vice verca. Of course, we had the chance to observe the non-verbal conversation, but for the most parts, we had to rely on our Polish and Swedish speaking project partner.

But apart from this minor challenge, this workshop and exchange was a very successful and valuable experience. I think we gathered a lot of insights that we will transfer into outputs for our project. But I also think that the stakeholder enjoyed the workshop. Especially the Polish stakeholder (most of them farmer), had the opportunity to see differences and similarities. More information about the workshop can be found here shortly:

Here are some pictures from the workshop and the following excursion:

Presentation of the workshop method
P1070206Discussion of scenariosP1070225World Café tables
P1070266Excursion to a created wetland
P1070313Excursion II
Group picture

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20.10.2016 11:21Bad luck with the weather – it was sunny… Nico Stelljes

Not only during field-work bad weather can interrupt the project works. On Oct 14th we had our first workshop of our second set of workshops with local stakeholders. This workshop took place at the Polish case Study site in the Kocinka catchment region. It was held at the Water Treatment Plant in Wierzchowisko. We started the day with an introductory presentation by Przemysław Wachniew (AGH) and a tour through the water company.

After the lunch we started with the participatory approach of the workshop, using the World Café and MoSCoW methods for discussing and prioritizing different scenarios. But here comes the weather in play. Because it was the first sunny day after rather rainy and grey autumn days, our stakeholders – many of them being farmers – had the urgent need to be out in the fields. Since this was perfectly understandable, we decided to adapt our program and shorten this workshop part to one hour. That ensured us to use both methods, but of course in much condensed version. I still believe the results are still be very valuable for our project and it will be very interesting to compare them with results from our workshops in Sweden and Denmark (in mid-November).

This experience showed me again that in any kind of ‘field-work’ you have to be adaptive to unforeseen moments. And sometimes such unforeseen moment can be a nice sunny day in October.

WS Poland 1

WS Poland 2
Tour through the waterworks
WS Poland 3
Group photo

WS Poland 4
World Café, table 1

Ws Poland 5
World Café, table 2
Ws Poland 6
World Café, table 3

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12.09.2016 16:53SOILS2SEA at the ECSA in Bremen Nico Stelljes

In the beginning of September, I had the opportunity to present the project BONUS Soils2Sea at the annual conference ECSA 56 with a poster. The topic of this year’s conference was “Coastal systems in transition: From a 'natural' to an 'anthropogenically-modified' state”. The poster presentation of my poster was held on Tuesday, September 6th. Of course, I took the opportunity to listen to some interesting talks (and also having a presentation on behalf of another project I am currently involved in). It was very interesting to see also a lot of results from other BONUS projects, for example from the COCOA or from BaltCoast. I was only able to attend for one day and unfortunately a lot of interesting presentations were not held that day. But despite this fact, it was still a very international conference and I was able to see presentations from New Zealand, Ghana or China. I almost catched what we call in German ‘Reisefieber’ – literally translated meaning ‘travel fever’ or the longing for traveling. And so I really look forward to have the second round of workshops in our project soon, giving me the opportunity to travel around the Baltic Sea and hopefully have a little spare time to enjoy our case Study areas.

Poster at ECSA
Windmill in the City Center of Bremen

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04.05.2016 12:02Project meeting in Kaliningrad Nico Stelljes

The last week of April 2016 was dedicated to our BONUS Soils2Sea project meeting in Kaliningrad, Russia. At this very productive meeting, we discussed the progress of the project in the different work packages and also took some important decisions on how to proceed with certain aspects. Of special interest to me were the updates from the different case study sites, since the next workshops are planned for autumn this year and the planning for the workshops has already started.

The meeting also gave us the opportunity to present Ecologic Institute’s work on the upcoming deliverables. The mentioned workshops will play a major role in one of the deliverables and therefore we took some time at the meeting to discuss a possible outline of the different workshops. Another focus was on the work package of dissemination, where we discussed the basic outline for the next newsletter that will be published in autumn this year. We also talked about other dissemination activities like the update of our project website, the translation of the project flyer and our final conference.

Apart from the plenary discussions, there was also time for some very interesting excursions organized by our Russian project partner ABIORAS. The first day was used to get an introduction to one of our four case studies in BONUS Soils2Sea. We started with a visit to the Pregolya catchment area and went to the small city of Gvargeysk, where the river of Pregolya splits in two branches, one discharging into the Curonian Lagoon (named then Deyma River) and the second branch running through Kaliningrad in the Vistula Lagoon. Mainly the Pregolya river catchment is attributed to the Vistula Lagoon, around 34% of the runoff of the catchment runs through the Deyma River and discharges in the Curonian Lagoon. We also saw some measuring points along the way. In the afternoon we had a short boat trip on the Pregolya River to see some parts of Kaliningrad city and its harbor. We saw ABIORAS scientific research vessel and some ABIORAS colleagues sampling water parameters in the river. In the late afternoon we had a short walk through the city of Kaliningrad to learn more about the interesting history of the city.

On the last day of the meeting we had the afternoon for the second excursion, where we went to the Curonian Spit to discover the beautiful landscape of the spit, the lagoon and the Baltic Sea. This spit connects Russia with Lithuania and is around 100km long. This area is not only used frequently by tourists also by migrating birds as a passage way from or to their breeding areas. This is why already in 1901 an ornithological station was founded that still exists today under the name Fringilla. We visited the station and had a guided tour with an ornithologist who showed us how they catch and ring the birds.

Below you can find some pictures I have taken during the excursions.

The Pregolya River

P1060005Discussion at the Pregolya RiverP1060028Taking water samples at the Pregolya River in KaliningradP1060035Results from the samplingP1060056The Fringilla bird station
The Curonian Spit

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22.10.2015 10:55Projektmeeting in Krakow Nico Stelljes

After a longer summer break from BONUS Soils2Sea, where I enjoyed the Berlin summer, the work speeded up in the last weeks. Finally we put together the first newsletter for our project.

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27.05.2015 18:21SOILS2SEA at ECCA Nico Stelljes

I recently had the opportunity to present our project Soils2Sea with a poster presentation at the 2nd European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA) Conference.

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30.04.2015 14:51Welcome to my blog Nico Stelljes

Looking at list of already existing blogs here on the BONUS website, I found these were mostly based on natural science. As a counterpoint, I would like to keep you updated about the research activities concerning governance and stakeholder involvement in Soils2Sea.

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