Prespa Field Laboratory – PRESPAnning

Prespa Field Laboratory – PRESPAnning

Biodiversity and Conservation Transboundary Educational Field Monitoring Experience

07th – 12th August 2023, Stenje, North Macedonia – Application Deadline: Sunday, 16 July 2023

Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) in collaboration with its PrespaNet partners PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of the Natural Environment in Albania), and Society for Protection of Prespa (SPP from Greece), will organize the network’s 5th transboundary summer school titled “PRESPAnning”, which will take place between 07-12 August 2023.

The summer school will largely include practical activities and some theory, mostly held in Prespa in North Macedonia, but also with few activities in Albania. Participants will take part in practical sessions performed by some of the network’s most active and renowned experts about monitoring of fish, large mammals, bats, reptiles and birds, all the while having the opportunity to experience the unique beauty of Prespa’s landscapes.

PrespaNet is a network of three environmental organisations established in 2013 with members PPNEA from Albania with a main office in Tirana and local office in Dolna Gorica/Gorice e Vogel, MES with main office in Skopje and local office in Resen, and SPP locally based on the Greek side of Prespa. PrespaNet works to enhance nature conservation work in Transboundary Prespa. The partners are undertaking actions in five main programme areas which include: i) Water birds, wetlands and climate change; ii) Environmental education and Outreach; iii) Species conservation; iv) Freshwater islands conservation, and v) Transboundary collaboration.

The one-week long event will bring together young people from differing educational and cultural backgrounds to exchange skills and understanding, stimulating peer-to-peer learning and experiential growth. It will offer high-quality fieldwork experience and data-analyses to the next generation of conservationists from the wider Prespa area.

Educational Themes:
1- Monitoring of mammals (camera trap field work and analyses of photos and demography)
2- Reptile monitoring and visit of unique island ecosystems (field work with Hermann’s tortoises and analyses of demographic data)
3- Bird identification and monitoring methods
4- Fish monitoring (practical work and theoretical presentation)
5- Bat monitoring (only field work, learning the methods and equipment)
6- Local context (discussion/roundtable with local stakeholders)

Information for applicants
The summer school is open to applicants from Albania, North Macedonia and Greece, and will bring together a small group of undergraduate and graduate students in environmental science, natural sciences, agricultural or forestry sciences and other related fields. The official language of the summer school will be English and a good standard of English should be demonstrated in the application.

Priority will be given to applicants from the region, or those studying in regional universities, and is also open to recent university graduates and those working in related disciplines in Prespa.
PrespaNet will cover the costs for food, accommodation, transport and insurance of the successful applicants. Further details will be distributed after the application period.
After successfully completing the summer school, participants will be awarded completion certificates.

To apply for this summer school please fill out the application form available here before midnight 16 July 2023. Applicants will be notified about the final selection no later than 24th July 2022.

The summer school is organized by MES, through “The Prespa Project-Biodiversity Conservation in Transboundary Prespa’’, funded by the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust and the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation, with support from EuroNatur. This transboundary project aims to strengthen collaboration among PrespaNet partners, i.e. PPNEA, MES and PPNEA, through concrete conservation activities in the region, integrated cross-border actions on biodiversity protection, and working particularly with young people, through education and volunteering initiatives.