A research project in freshwater ecology is described whose main intentions are: 1) to increase the contact between the University of Oslo and a local community; 2) to solve actual problems for the local community by prosecuting applied research without interfering with the researchers' demand for free choice of research items; and 3) to allow for a larger student population without increasing the supervisory staff (compatible with steadily falling grants).
The Voss Project is a cooperative project between the Zoological Institute of the University of Oslo and the Voss District Council, western Norway. It was initiated to analyse the Voss River system, which is threatened by eutrophication and water-power development.
The research is mainly carried out by Cand.Real. students, who live for 1–2 years in the local community. During the work, an intensive exchange of information about biological and social items, and about municipal politics, naturally takes place.