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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Sustainable Landscapes - The Wadden Experience

We are currently updating our course overview for 2021-2022. The information below might be updated.

How to steer towards sustainability at the landscape level? In the Northern part of the Netherlands lies the World Heritage Wadden Sea Region. Within this region, human and natural landscape development is strongly intertwined. The region has a strong drive towards sustainable development. Many questions are unresolved however. How to combine mass-tourism with a sensitive natural area? How can wind parks, power plants, natural gas extraction, fisheries and agriculture fit in? What role is there for cultural heritage and identity? How to combine competitive economic activities with utter stillness?

The Sustainable Landscapes team of the University of Groningen in cooperation with the Wadden Academy welcomes you to explore these issues, both theoretically and through experiencing the Wadden landscape from within. Join us for online lectures by leading experts: showing you scientific perspectives from different fields. We explore: Cultural heritage: How to preserve cultural heritage in this European coastal landscapes? Coastal tourism: How to find sustainability in a mature leisure and tourism landscape? Landscape stewardship: What strategies for social and environmental sustainable management are feasible, how to integrate different socio-ecological dynamics? Regional food production: How to adapt to farming on salt affected soils? Sustainable enterprise in the Wadden area: How sustainable can ship building, energy production and datacentre activity be? Global bird flyways: How to manage the Wadden as a key area in the global flyways of migratory birds?

Each lecture is supported by cutting edge literature – which you can study in advance. After the online lecture series you can participate in a three-day boat trip. Embarking in the harbour of Lauwersoog, you will dive into socio-ecological modelling and social innovation. You and your 15 fellow participants will meet several stakeholders and .. you will be actively sailing the Wadden Sea!

Practical information

Dates online lecture serie 30 & 31 August 2021 (Online lecture series)
1 - 3 September 2021 (sail tour)
Level MA/PhD/Postdoc/Practitioners
Fee online lecture series € 50
Fee incl. sail tour

€ 450 (including the online lecture series, and three days and overnight stays on board plus meals and drinks) The start and end of the boat trip is at the harbour of Lauwersoog. Travel to Lauwersoog is not included.

Academic coordinators

Frans Sijtsma – Faculty of Spatial Sciences
Wander Jager – University College Groningen

Contact summerschoolsustainablelandscapes
Information on the ship


This course is developed for talented bachelor students, for master and research master students, PhD students and professionals in the field of spatial (landscape) planning, economics and business, landscape ecology, human geography and fields of interdisciplinary landscape studies.

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 .

Learning outcomes

In a curriculum that unites critical reading, thinking, and discussion with hands-on experience, the participants

  • are familiarized with recent theories and methods of ecology (bird-migration), cultural landscapes, landscape stewardship, sustainable agriculture
  • develop a keen perspective on the meaning of sustainability for the landscape
  • learn to think across conventional boundaries between landscape, ecology and agriculture


Preparation: 20 hours
Online lectures: 12 hours
Boat trip with modelling and sailing (limited to 16 students): 40 hours
Written assignment (limited to 16 students): 12 hours

Upon successful completion of the program, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (3 ECTS; 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

There is limited space available on the ship, if you want to join the sailing trip, send in an application sooner rather than later. To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents with your application:

  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max 1 page)

Applications will be reviewed after the deadline closes on 8 July.

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Last modified:13 September 2021 2.31 p.m.