Scientific outreach

Climate whirl: holistic view on climate and ecosystem by combining science and arts

The Climate Whirl concept utilizes different media like internet, art in its diverse forms, art and science exhibitions and other public events, game development, teacher education, etc. Climate Whirl introduces a holistic view on climate and ecosystem research in a manner that is at the same time comprehensible and thought provoking. The Climate Whirl art residence continued in 2014. Media artist Agnes Meyer-Brandis worked at the SMEAR II station in August and held a workshop, which gathered 15 artists and scientists to work together.  In 2014 we developed our Carbon Tree web site further to include the emission of BVOCs from forest and how they are related to cloud formation. New www-pages will be released in early 2015. Our interactive Carbon Tree visited in several exhibitions, e.g. in Beijing in autumn 2014. The Climate Whirl concept got into the second round in the Helsinki Challenge.

Science day in Beijing


Above: The Interactive Carbon Tree was part of the Science in Dialogue day in Beijing. For the occasion the Carbon Tree web site ( was translated in Chinese.
Photo by Janne Korhonen

Educational programmes & other activities

HIILI – science education program, led by physic university lecturer Taina Ruuskanen, is one of the 10 programs that the ministry of education (OKM) funded that aim at improving the collaboration between universities and schools. The program acronym HIILI comes from the Finnish name Hiilidioksidi Ilmastomuutoksessa sekä Ihmisten, Luonnon ja Ilmakehän vuorovaikutuksessa and aims at improving the understanding of the research process in atmospheric sciences. The HIILI-project is based on the multidisciplinary atmospheric research conducted at SMEAR II and in 2014 the development of pedagogic content of the site was designed in a researcher-teacher –workshop. In addition the HIILI-project develops an atmospheric physics laboratory investigation set that school classes can do in the F2k-laboratory.

Other science education actions lead by university lecturer Taina Ruuskanen focusing on atmospheric and environmental research are GLOBE Finland ( and teachers continuing education (Fygge 2012-2014 and Muuttuva maapallo 2014-2016).

Photo by Mirka McIntire

GLOBE Finland schools participated in a national snow depth measurement project. In a kickoff meeting old ski poles were transformed into snow depth measurement sticks and teachers learned how to use them to take scientific measurements of snow depth. Photo above by Mirka McIntire.

The researchers of the Division have actively introduced the goals and methods of Atmospheric Sciences to the general public. Amongst others Ph.D. Pauli Paasonen gave a series of lectures in Heureka Science Centre with help of a special “Science on a Sphere” – system and one of the lectures was chosen to be presented at the “Heureka 25 years” -weekend.

“Science on a Sphere” is a room sized display equipment, which uses computers and video projectors to show e.g. planetary data onto a 1.8 m- diameter sphere, analogous to a globe (see the picture below).

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Photo above by Anu Väinölä