Return to Finland (2022)

I’m sitting at RDU (its Friday April 22nd) awaiting the start of a journey that will return me to Finland. I have been fortunate to be selected for the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Distinguished Chair in Health Sciences. This grant will allow me to teach a systematic review in toxicology course at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in Kuopio. That class starts in just a few days. The grant will allow me to spend two one-month long visits to UEF this year. The second is planned for later this year (November). The next month should be busy. In addition to teaching the systematic review course I’ll also develop an online continuing education course for Nordic toxicologists. I also have a research project with several Finnish colleagues that will be wrapped up while I am in Kuopio. At the end of my stay I’ll be giving a keynote address at the Estonian and Finnish Society of Toxicology meeting to be held in Tallinn Estonia. Upon completion of my Fulbright grant activities I’ll be joined by my wife Melanie and we plan on seeing some sites in Finland. I hope to post blog updates periodically.

My mantra right now is “If all goes according to plan…”. For new readers of the blog I was in Finland starting in late December 2019. The plan at that time was for me to spend a six month sabbatical in Finland supported by a different Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation grant. That project launched well but all too quickly was derailed by the COVID pandemic that forced our early return from Finland in mid-March 2020. I fell very fortunate to be able to return to Finland at this time. I’m looking forward to seeing my colleagues at UEF.

Earlier this year I learned I was selected for a different Fulbright project that would have dovetailed with my Finnish project. That project involved development of a experimental design and data analysis course to be given at Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University outside of Kyiv. It’s depressing knowing how the lives of the faculty and veterinary students their families and countrymen have been affected by the war. I’ll be curious to hear from my Finnish colleagues their thoughts about the war since they share a common border with Russia where saber rattling has also occurred.

I’ve planned a visit to one of the eastern Finnish National Parks where I will be staying in a photography hide in the hopes of photographing wolverines and possibly bears, wolves, and other animals. That visit is planned for a few weeks from now so stay tuned for updates at my new blog at: