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NinE Summer Schools
During 14 days (2-13 October 2006) NinE has co-organized a Summer School with the EU NitroEurope Integrated Project (or NEU for short). The ESF contribution facilitated the attendance of scientists from across Europe who are not a part of NEU.
This summer school ("Methods to study microbial nitrogen turnover and the formation of greenhouse gases") was held at the Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW) in Vienna (Austria) and focussed on training in measurement methodologies that link different nitrogen forms, pools and fluxes between environmental compartments (see web page of the joint NEU/NinE Summer School).
The Summer School took place at three institutions in and around Vienna. Twenty seven participants from twelve European and one African country were hosted (Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Ukraine and Zimbabwe).
The course was conceived as training in the latest techniques for quantifying nitrogen dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems, and process-understanding of the terrestrial nitrogen cycle. A detailed overview on methods of gas measurement, modern molecular techniques and isotopic techniques was given. The course was designed like a project study, starting with lectures, followed by field and laboratory work and data evaluation.
Within the first two days thirteen invited speakers gave theoretical lectures on the nitrogen cycle, which served as an introduction to practical work. After that field work was carried out at the NitroEurope manipulation site Klausenleopoldsdorf. The participants were split into two parallel groups in order to ensure personal supervision and hands-on. Fridays were used for data analysis, interpretation, discussion and presentation of results. In the second week the participants worked two days at the University of Vienna with Prof. Andreas Richter on 15N isotope applications. Another two days were spent with Angela Sessitsch at the Austrian Research Centre in Seibersdorf to get insights into the molecular biology of nitrogen.
High quality presentations of results were encouraged by a "Best Poster Award" The winner of the prize, a textbook on Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology by Stuart Chapin, was the team of Chris Field, U.K., Jesper Riis Christiansen, DK, Dorien Kool, NL and Arjan deBruijn, D.
During summer school, participants were invited to join different social events, like Heurigen Dinner, Opera, Excursion to a Nature Park, and the Long Night of the Museums. In addition they organized their own evening activities, such as a "pizza and movies night2 and "real Indian curry cooking" which helped building new friendships. Besides the gain of knowledge and an exchange of experience, a major outcome of this summer school were several new collaborations. Although some of the taught topics were completely new for some participants, feedback was enthusiastic and encouraging for a follow-up course in Edinburgh 2008: "everything was super". "Overall excellent", "Thank you for a nice summer school, that has given me a lot of new ideas and insight."
For more information click http://bfw.ac.at/rz/bfwcms.web?dok=5400