Symposium: Environmental change, agency and knowledge of the Sea

Symbol för forskningsprofilen HAVET SeaHer logo

The scholarly knowledge about the sea is conventionally addressed in the language of natural sciences and technology. Yet, in time of major environmental changes, complementary approaches are needed to understand and affect the ways in which human beings know and act with nature, including the sea and other water environments. The focus in various forms of knowledge and the need of their integration implies sustained analytical attention to knowledge as communication, stressing the importance of ‘knowing how’, complementary to ‘knowing that’.

The closing symposium of the project Living with the Baltic Sea in a changing climate: Environmental heritage and the circulation of knowledge (SeaHer, Academy of Finland 2018–2022) asks what forms of knowledge and expertise are needed to understand the changing sea, and how research can be used to integrate different perspectives. How do different forms of knowledge encounter? How can on-the-ground observations, experiences and traditions be incorporated into academic knowledge production and governance processes? How can different knowledge systems and disciplinary objectives, methodologies and languages orient themselves to an interdisciplinary dialogue?

The aim of the symposium is to bring together scholars with different disciplinary backgrounds to discuss the changing marine and water environments in theoretical, methodological and empirical terms. The symposium will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and contribute to a versatile understanding on the changing environment related to the sea. Invited keynote speakers are Kirsten Hastrup (Professor Emerita at Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen), Jan Marcin Weslawski (Professor at Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences) and Monica Hammer (Associate professor in Natural Resources Management at the School of Natural Science, Technology and Environmental Studies at Södertörn University).

In addition to the keynote speeches, the symposium programme will consist of 10-15 min. paper presentations and concluding discussions. We invite researchers to a two-day conference to reflect on the symposium topic and present their work. Areas of focus include but are not limited to: production and construction of knowledge, knowledge processes; interdisciplinary knowledge, concepts and methodologies; case studies showcasing interdisciplinarity; human and non-human agency; water–land interactions; urban waterscapes, and Arctic and other Northern waters.

You are welcome to follow the keynote lectures and discussions. Please fill in the registration form if you are planing to join us for lunches and the dinner cruise.


Further information:

The project website: LIVING WITH THE BALTIC SEA IN A CHANGING CLIMATE (SeaHer) – Environmental Heritage and the Circulation of Knowledge (
The project is part of the research profile The Sea at Åbo Akademi University: The
Sea | Åbo Akademi University | Åbo Akademi University (


From words to actions – from actions to words

The SeaHer Project’s Creative Writing corner in  the Forum Marinum ‘40,000+  Experience the World’s Largest Archipelago At Your Fingertips’ Exhibition (May 28th, 2021-August 31st, 2021, Forum Marinum Turku)

What we do or discover today will become the memories of tomorrow. Look back and write, let your thoughts take off. What do you see, hear, smell? What happens now or what no longer exists? How does this make you feel? (Photo Credit: N. Rantala)

These questions above are some of the inspiring texts in the  creative writing corner at the Forum Marinum, part of the  ‘40,000+  Experience the World’s Largest Archipelago At Your Fingertips’ Exhibition. Whilst this big exhibition runs for a period of five years, the  creative writing corner will run from May 28th, 2021 until the end of August, 2021.

The SeaHer project is hosting this creative corner. It is the brainchild of project researcher Jaana Kouri. According to Jaana, this creative corner is the natural culmination of collaborations with key partners including the John Nurminen Foundation and colleagues Anna Törnroos-Remes and photographer Niclas Rantala at the Environmental and Marine Biology department of Åbo Akademi University.

The exhibition guest is led through various themes to write about their observations, memories and experiences of the archipelago. Writings can be written on paper, on Fohn Nurminen’s Loki pages, or on a question form. The writings are used as material for research.

The corner of creative writing is part of efforts to develop a variety of methods to confront experience-based knowledge and scientific knowledge.


School, Youth, and the Climate Change -Panel
Factory, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova -museum in 17-18.30 on August 29, 2019.

How should we acknowledge climate change when educating the children and the youth? What kind of challenges it will bring for teachers and other educators?

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova -museum, Valonia – Service Centre for Sustainable Development and Energy of Southwest Finland, and ”Ilmastonmuutosta koskeva tieto ja Itämeri” project arrange an open panel discussion concerning the above-mentioned questions in Thursday, August 29, at 5 pm.

The panel discussion explores environmental issues and climate change from the educational perspective. We discuss how the youth of today perceive climate change and what kinds of opportunities they have for participation in the public discussion and decision-making of these themes.

As panelists, we have Alina Heywood from Turku’s Youth Committee, Senior Planning Officer Jaana Itälä-Laine from Valonia, Museum Lector Jaana Jokela from Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova -museum, and Associate Professor Nina Tynkkynen from Åbo Akademi. Researchers Jaana Kouri and Silja Laine host the event.

The panel discussion is part of the ”Sää ja mää – sään merkityksiä ennen ja nyt” -project, executed by  Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova -museum and Valonia. The wide study module concerning the interaction of humans and nature and the climate change was carried out with elementary schools from Southwest Finland in spring 2019. The exhibition made with the basis of the study module is open from May 24 to September 1 in Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova.


About the Sea, Near the Sea
Volter Kilpi Literary Festival, Kustavi, on July 14, 2019

Project researchers Jaana Kouri and Silja Laine organize a workshop of marine-related creative writing in Volter Kilpi Literary Festival on July 14. For more information: Facebook event