Overline: Potsdam Summer School 2018
Headline: Bright Young Things to Discuss the “Skin of the Earth”

The Earth’s surface is the foundation of all human activity. Geological, biological and climatic dynamics like the carbon cycle, soil formation, and climate and ocean currents form a complex web of connected processes, whose interactions are not yet fully understood. So it is fitting that this year’s Potsdam Summer School, the fifth in succession, is devoted to “The Skin of our Planet – the Earth’s Surface System”. The Summer School will be held from 10 to 19 September 2018 at three different venues: the Albert Einstein Science Park on the Telegrafenberg, the University of Potsdam, and the IASS. Outstanding young researchers and early-career professionals from 36 different countries will converge on Potsdam to discuss very topical questions, exchange ideas, and forge international partnerships.

Since 2014, five research institutes in Potsdam have been inviting young people from all over the world to participate in an annual summer school.
Since 2014, five research institutes in Potsdam have been inviting young people from all over the world to participate in an annual summer school. IASS/David Ausserhofer

Forty-two young people from academia, industry and the public sector are due to participate in this year’s Potsdam Summer School. In lectures, discussions, and workshops they will acquire transdisciplinary knowledge and gain a better understanding of the processes that shape the delicate surface of the Earth. And in a planned excursion to the Spreewald Biosphere Reserve, they will experience sustainable land management at first hand. What forces drive Earth surface dynamics? What does sustainable land management entail? What function does the Earth’s surface fulfil as a habitat and how has it been altered by humans? What role do the oceans and the changing climate play? These are just some of the questions Summer School participants will grapple with.

The new generation of scientists and professionals is expected to have the knowledge and tools necessary to assess and influence the effects of environmental changes now and in the future. In this context, the Potsdam Summer School is a unique opportunity to foster international cooperation and interdisciplinary exchange. The themes of the Summer School cover a broad spectrum of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, encouraging the participation of various actors from the public and private sectors.

In cooperation with Geo.X, the research network for geosciences in Berlin and Potsdam, and the City of Potsdam, the Potsdam Summer School is organised by the Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the University of Potsdam. With its unique interdisciplinary approach, it is a landmark event in Potsdam’s research landscape.

Further information:  https://potsdam-summer-school.org/