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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Anthropocene

How humans shaped the earth
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The popularity of the term ‘Anthropocene’ reflects our growing interest in human-environment relationships. How significant is our impact on the earth? How did our interaction with other species evolve to today’s reliance on industrial agriculture? Understanding how the Anthropocene emerged, evolved, and how its many facets manifest themselves in ‘natural’ and ‘social’ phenomena - from soil formation to the rise and fall of empires - is critical to dealing with our current global challenges.

The Anthropocene is a topic that is relevant to almost all disciplines, and human impact on the environment is increasingly addressed by policy makers worldwide. We bring together an interdisciplinary group of experts from geography, archaeology, ecology, law, psychology, and political science to engage with the participants through lectures, discussions, excursions, and fieldwork. During the week you will learn how archaeologists, geographers, and ecologists study our impact on landscapes and oceans, and how legal and political scientists, psychologists and anthropologists implement the Anthropocene knowledge to improve environmental policies and behavior.

The first part of the summer school will take place at Groningen University with a combination of guest lectures, exploration of laboratory specimens and excursions in the city and its surroundings. During the second part of the week we will stay on the island of Schiermonnikoog, where we will explore human influence in a seemingly natural setting. During the week there will be ample time to reflect on the topics discussed, collect and analyse data as part of a group, and develop your own perspective in relation to the Anthropocene.

This week will increase your awareness of human impact in different settings, and teach you how to read landscapes and societal issues as pieces of the Anthropocene. In addition, you will have obtained a toolkit to apply the theories related to this topic in the context of your own discipline.

Practical information
Dates
3 - 8 July 2023
Location

Groningen and Schiermonnikoog (a small Wadden Sea island)

Level

3rd year BA/MA/PhD/Early career researchers/Practitioners

Fees

€ 420 including:
€ 320 UG and ENLIGHT students (limited availability, on the basis of first come first served)

The fee includes welcome tour and drinks, lunch, coffee and tea, return boat trip to Schiermonnikoog, full board accommodation on Schiermonnikoog, summer school dinner with lecturers.

Accommodation in Groningen, Sunday 2 July until Wednesday 5 July in shared rooms, can be arranged through the summer school organizing team (limited availability, on the basis of first come first served). If you are interested in booking accommodation for the first nights via the Summer School please indicate this in the application form.

One scholarship covering the summer school fees will be made available, you can apply for this by adding a section in your motivation letter explaining your need for a scholarship.

Academic coordinators

Daniella Vos (Faculty of Spatial Sciences)
Canan Çakırlar (Faculty of Arts)

Contact

anthropoceneschool rug.nl

Requirements

As the nature of this course is cross-disciplinary, no domain specific prior knowledge is required. The focus will be on participating in a scientific debate. This type of activity usually relates to a postgraduate (master / PhD) level, but highly motivated undergraduate students may apply.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.


Workload

Preparatory work: 10 hours
Data collection and analysis during summer school: 11 hours
Lectures, excursions and fieldwork: 35 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 56 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Course schedule

Sunday 2 July

15.00-18.00: Scavenger hunt and drinks

Monday 3 July

Introduction lectures
Archaeology lectures
Visit to collections at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology

Tuesday 4 July

Lectures on environmental policy and psyhology
City flora and fauna excursion in the city of Groningen

Wednesday 5 July

Travel to Schiermonnikoog
Lectures on island history and marine historical ecology
Excursion around the island

Thursday 6 July

Preparation lectures on physical geography
Fieldwork exercise
Summer school dinner
Night excursion

Friday 7 July

Morning off
Data collection
Afternoon - sharing of findings and analysis results

Saturday 8 July

Reflection morning
Return to Groningen

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  • Become familiar with the main arguments and definitions in the ongoing discussion about the Anthropocene
  • Deconstruct a scientific argument made by others and consider it from an epistemological perspective
  • Formulate and present scientific arguments contributing to a scientific discussion


Workload

Preparatory work: 10 hours
Preparation of final presentation during summer school: 11 hours
Lectures, symposium and presentation sessions: 35 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 56 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter, clearly stating why you want to join this summer school, what you will bring to the school and what you hope to learn (max. 1 page)


The deadline for application is 1 May 2023 . Selected applicants will be informed by 3 May 2023.

Last modified:15 March 2023 2.14 p.m.