An international conference ”Universities within forests” took place between 24th and 26th September. The Faculty of Forestry at the University of Life Sciences in Poznań invited representatives from research and didactic units which represent forestry sciences to participate in the conference. This was an opportunity to explore the varied scientific and didactic activity of universities which offer forestry courses and classes in their curriculum.
The event was also a great opportunity to initiate effective discussions concerning the current state, as well as the future, of “forest universities”. Deans, deputy deans and persons representing 17 faculties of forestry from 15 countries (Belarus: Faculty of Forestry, Belarusian State Technological University; Bosnia and Herzegovina: Faculty of Forestry, University of Sarajevo; Bulgaria: Faculty of Forestry, University of Forestry in Sofia; the Czech Republic: Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno; Croatia: Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Estonia: Institute of Forestry and Rural engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences; Spain: Faculty of Forestry, University of Vigo; Lithuania: Faculty of Forest Sciences and Ecology, Vytautas Magnus University; Macedonia: Faculty of Forestry, "Ss. Cyril and Methodius" University in Skopje; Poland: Faculty of Forestry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences and University of Life Sciences in Poznań; Romania: Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Brasov; Slovakia: Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen; Slovenia: Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana; Turkey: Faculty of Forestry, Artvin Coruh University and Faculty of Forestry, Bursa Technical University; the USA: Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University) accepted the invitation.
The first day of the conference took place in Runge College and Cieszkowscy College. The dean of Faculty of Forestry of University of Life Sciences in Poznań, prof. dr hab. Piotr Łakomy opened the conference and welcomed all the guests. During the conference two plenary lectures were delivered. Prof. dr hab Małgorzata Mańka, a correspondent member of Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) read a paper entitled “The origin of forestry studies in Poznań” whereas prof. dr hab Piotr Paschalis-Jakubowicz’s talk was “Better programmes are needed to improve forest science education”. The conference was divided into two sessions during which the following papers were presented, prof. Valerie Varanová “Mendel University and Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology”, prof. Mustafa Yilmaz and prof. Emin Ugurlu “Bursa Technical University, Faculty of Forestry”, prof. Andrej Bončina “Forestry studies in Slovenia: current status and prospects”, dr hab. Vjekoslav Živković “Forest and wood science in Croatia - actual research topics and achievements”, dr Juan Picos and dr Ángeles Cancela “Perspectives of Higher Education in Forestry in Atlantic Spain” and prof. dr hab. Piotr Łakomy “Higher Education in Forestry at Poznań University of Life Sciences”.
The organizers planned a conference dinner which took place at Jesuits Gallery at Dominikańska Street in Poznań. Good food, friendly discussions and cheery mood were not the only highlights of the dinner as it was accompanied by a concert performed by a violinist duo Alicja Chrząszcz and Anna Machowska, known as A2 Duo.
During the following two days the participants visited Forest Culture Centre in Gołuchów, where they were able to explore the museum’s rich collection as well as educational projects, including the park and the bison centre. On the final day of the conference, some of the participants returned to Poznań whereas the dean together with deputy dean went to Kraków in order to participate in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of founding the Faculty of Forestry at Agricultural University of Kraków as well as during the 9th Meeting at the Conference of Deans and Directors of European Forest Faculties and Schools.
Among the outcomes of the conference is a monograph published in English which contains information about the universities which run forestry courses as part of their curriculum and conduct research into forestry.
Words of gratitude and special thanks should go to those who organized the conference: prof. dr hab. Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz, The Chair of Scientific Committee and also the editor of the book Universities within the forests, as well as the team members prof. UPP dr hab. Tomasz Jelonek, dr inż. Adrian Łukowski, dr inż. Krzysztof Polowy, prof. UPP dr hab. Arkadiusz Tomczak, dr hab. Andrzej Węgiel, together with numerous students of our Faculty who, despite the summer break, actively participated in the conference.
prof. UPP dr hab. Tomasz Jelonek
The conference is co-finansed within the framework of Ministry of Science and Higher Education programme as "Regional Initiative Excellence" in years 2019-2022, project numer 005/RID/2018/19