Students Win ACT Award 2024 for Their Impressive Work on Estate De Lieskamp

Zoi Zepou, Marianne Héritier, Maja Raemakers, Tessel de Vries, Isa Priem and Josje Schuttinga received the Academic Consultancy Training Award 2024 at the beginning of May. They collaboratively demonstrated how to create scientific value for society. The jury was impressed by the practical application and significant social impact of the project.

It was very nice that we could talk to the owner a lot. We could keep her updated and involved in the project.
Josje Schuttinga, student

The six Master’s students worked in the course Academic Consultancy Training on a project for Estate De Lieskamp in Wageningen. This estate is 6 acres in size and contains orchards, a coppice, herb grassland, and a duck pond. The project was initiated because of concerns from the owners about declining biodiversity. The students investigated how biodiversity could be improved.

To start the project, the students performed a null measurement to assess the current biodiversity on the estate via field research. Afterwards, they provided recommendations on how to enhance biodiversity. In addition to the estate owners, the surrounding residents also benefit from the students’ research. Those present at the final presentation received a take home package. This included, amongst other things, a mix of various seeds and a flyer with tips on how to increase biodiversity in their own garden. Throughout the project, various stakeholders were involved, and their perspectives were incorporated into the recommendations.

The jury was impressed by how the students applied their scientific knowledge in practice. The final report was comprehensive, and the results were presented professionally. The students were in close contact with the land owners. Because of this, the students were able to consider the wishes of the estate owners throughout the project. The student team was professional, worked excellently together, and demonstrated an innovative approach. The research lays the foundation for follow-up studies and clearly outlines the advantages and disadvantages of different methods to increase biodiversity.

A video has been made about this ACT project. It can be viewed via the following link: Video ACT Award 2024

Other projects nominated for the ACT Award 2024:

  • Capturing the Ecological and Social Impact of Tchakka Origins
  • Growing Together: A Feasibility Study on Community-Centric and Sustainable Urban Agriculture. From shopper to grower
  • Predicting Localized Disease Risk in Greenhouse Horticulture Using High-Density Climate Sensor Network Models
  • Future Furniture: Pioneering Circular Principles

More information about the ACT Award

The Academic Consultancy Training (ACT) award is an annual celebration that recognises the student team that was best able to create science-based value for society in a joint effort. This is the sixth time that this celebration is organised. The ACT award is a prize named after Tiny van Boekel, the previous Dean of Education (2012-2017) as a farewell gift.