Whether frozen, liquid or vaporous, water is the single most precious resource on our planet. The so-called hydrosphere – the combined mass of water found on, under and above the Earth's surface – spans the world’s oceans, rivers, lakes, ground- and soil water and atmospheric water vapour. Water creates unique habitats for animal and plant life. As well as providing societies with food and drinking-water supplies, the hydrosphere is an important renewable energy resource and offers benefits for health and well-being, cultural values, tourism, trade, and transport. The hydrosphere interacts with each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is a major indicator for the state of our planet.
An interactive and transdisciplinary learning experience
In 2021 the Potsdam Summer School will explore the influence of the state of the hydrosphere on humankind and vice versa. Interactive learning formats will enable participants to gain a better understanding of the state of the hydrosphere as they cooperate to develop possible solutions to challenges at the local, regional and global levels.
Coastal environments, small islands and polar areas are particularly vulnerable to changes in the hydrosphere such as sea level rise and worsening marine pollution. Roughly 680 million people currently live on or near coastlines at low elevations. According to IPCC projections, coastal populations will exceed one billion by 2050.
The online programme will focus on three key areas:
- Heavy precipitation, flooding, sea level rise
- Extreme droughts, exploitation of drinking water
- Pollution, accessibility of drinking water, sanitation
The international Summer School will bring together expertise from various scientific disciplines and societal stakeholders. The following questions will take centre stage in the online-programme:
- What do we know – and don’t know – about the role of the hydrosphere within the Earth system?
- Who are stakeholders and actors in terms of hydrosphere services?
- How can multiple perspectives be merged in integrated strategies?
- What can be done at local, regional and global levels?
- How can we prevent political conflicts?
- How can scientists address audiences from all societal areas?
Thís years Potsdam Summer School will be held as an online event. The aim of the Potsdam Summer School is to bring together talented early-career scientists as well as young professionals from the private sector, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations from different parts of the world to explore issues around future sustainable development. The online programme includes contributions from experts, stakeholders, and guest lecturers from high-level national and international institutes and organisations.
In cooperation with Geo.X and the City of Potsdam, the 2021 Potsdam Summer School 2021 is jointly organised by the University of Potsdam, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the IASS.
The call for applications started November 16, 2020. The last day to submit an application will be on March 31, 2021 at 23:59 CET: https://potsdam-summer-school.org