Between 2nd and 13th of May, we ran the fourth edition of the International Spring University (ISU; our annual 2-week intensive course that trains practitioners and scientists in how to use k.LAB and ARIES). Many things were new about this edition (a new version of the software, some new teaching assistants; a new venue – which caused us some internet-related teething problems!) but we retained all the positives from previous editions (such as the ever present ARIES team).
Week 1 progressed as normal, with lectures and practical work introducing the participants to the software. However, it was during week 2 that this edition of the ISU really came to the fore! The participants self-organised into small working groups and spent the majority of the week making jaw-dropping progress on deforestation, pollination and agricultural yield, and water use. The work produced in this short time was of high quality, resulting in some great final presentations. As such, we aim to produce a BC3 Working Paper summarising the work, and potential journal publications too.
As well as all the work, several collaborations and friendships were formed and strengthened over a glass of txakoli and a few pinxtos! We have had a (well earned) rest for a few weeks now and are already looking forward to next year!