Field excursion with 1st year students, Patvinsuo National Park, Finland, in 2019 (Photo: Aleksi Knaappila)

Teaching activities

I gave first full-length university-level lecture course in autumn 1984. The course was offered at the University of Helsinki and titled "Biostatistics".

  • since then, teaching has continued on a regular basis in many universities in Finland and abroad

  • during more than 35 years, over 2500 university students have attended – and passed! – my classes

My university-level courses and lecture series focus on four main topics:

  • Forest ecology, covering major ecological structures, processes and functions in forests, with an emphasis but not solely restricting to disturbance dynamics and successional patterns in boreal areas;

  • Forest conservation and biodiversity, covering several aspects of habitat classifications, habitat associations of species, and ecological basis for forest conservation;

  • Plant-herbivore associations and forest entomology, covering population ecology and dynamics, food-web and trophic level interactions and disturbance and outbreak dynamics and conservation of forest insects;

  • Methodology and scientific inference in ecology, covering basic and advanced levels of statistical and numerical analyses, design of experiments, and scientific reasoning in forest ecology and biodiversity research.

Curricula development and leadership in academic study programmes

In addition to annual courses, I have devoted to development, coordination and administration of university teaching at all academic levels from elementary and minor study units up to full PhD programmes.

The duties include:

  • 1996–2010: Chairman of the coordination group for multidisciplinary environmental studies of the university (in Finnish: monitieteisten ympäristötieteen opintojen koordinaatioryhmän puheenjohtaja). These studies connected teaching of all the five faculties of the university, and offered courses up to intermediate level. The study program attracted around 50-100 students annually.

  • 1996–2005: Person-in-charge of the study minor “Environmental Management and Multiple use of Forests” (metsien ympäristönhoidon ja monikäytön sivuaineopintokokonaisuuden vastuuhenkilö).

  • 2007–2021: Director of the International Study Programme in Forestry and Environmental Science (metsä- ja ympäristötieteen kansainvälisen vaihto-opiskelijaohjelman johtaja). The programme attracted around 50-70 exchange students each semester, and was organized jointly by the Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the School of Forest Sciences. In total, over 1000 students have attended the programme during its lifetime.

  • 2012–2015: Person-in-charge for the study major “Forest sciences” at the University of Eastern Finland (Itä-Suomen yliopiston metsätieteen oppiaineen ja pääaineen vastuuhenkilö). This programme covers all BSc and MSc level studies that are required to achieve corresponding BSc and MSc academic degrees in forest sciences in Finland. All the major fields under forest sciences and forestry are covered in these studies. Only two universities in the country offer MSc in forestry and forest sciences.

  • 2013–2017: Director of the doctoral programme on “Forests and Bioresources FORES” (metsien ja metsien bioresurssien tohtoriohjelman johtaja). This programme is the only doctoral-level programme that focuses exclusively on forests and their resources in Finland. About 10 doctoral degrees are awarded annually.