Call for Summer/Spring School “Islands as Laboratories for Sustainability: The case of Lesvos”

Islands are special cases for Sustainable Development. Methodologically and scientifically, islands are ideal ‘laboratories’ for sustainable landscape stewardship. Islands are unique in both attractiveness and climate vulnerability, they are relatively isolated and ‘on their own’ compared to mainland areas, yet they are also more dependent and need to be well connected to other areas more than mainland areas. The summer school is aimed at combining all these different perspective. The summer school focuses on the Mediterranean island of Lesvos which is home to what is known as Aristotle’s lagoon and has also been described as the birthplace of the science of biology; an island well-known for its unique biodiversity, a petrified forest and many scenic landscapes reflecting in its UNESCO Geopark status. The island is also the birthplace of great literary figures and has a very rich cultural history. It has also long been a popular tourism (and eco-tourism) destination. More recently it has been at the centre of global media attention as the crossing land of refugees’ flight to safety and key gateway to Europe.

Overall the central question of the summer school is: How to come to sustainable development amidst starkly different island dynamics?
Students in this summer school are challenged to blend perspectives towards sustainability: to understand the current situation and to research possible sustainable futures via a multidisciplinary approach. Questions that will be considered and addressed include:
✓ How can an island like Lesvos (as a case study) move towards an ambitious and successful energy transition?
✓ How to combine conservation in core nature areas with development in the surrounding landscapes?
✓ How can the challenges and opportunities of the refugee crisis can be met in socially sustainable ways?
✓ What are the prospects for sustainable social and economic development?

The Summer/Spring School is organized by the University of Groningen in cooperation with University of Aegean.

Application Deadline: February 28, 2022
Courses Dates: May 1-8, 2022
Location: Lesvos Island, Greece


Academic coordinators:
  • Dimitris Ballas and Frans Sijtsma, Faculty of Spatial Sciences,
  • Raymond Klaassen, Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Thanasis Kizos, Department of Geography, University of the Aegean
Without participation fees for 2 ERUA students. 
Students who wish to be considered for this need to mention this in their letter of motivation (is part of the application).
Attendance- ECTS:
  • Preparation: 38 hours
  •  Lectures: 18 hours
  •  Discussion/interaction with teaching staff and other students: 6 hours
  •  Assignment: 24 hours
Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS).
Accommodation: Participants are advised to organise their accommodation independently. You may find more information on possible options on the page of the EUROGEO2022 conference
Please note that you will be asked to submit the following documents:
• CV
• Letter of motivation



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