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2017
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Future Deltas

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences (UU)
Course code
H14
Course fee
€ 500
Level
Advanced master level

River flooding, coastal dynamics, land subsidence, salt water intrusion, livelihoods, governance and environmental law are all important topics for the sustainable management of coastal river deltas worldwide, which are currently under pressure of human impact and climate change. In this course, we offer a unique opportunity to examine natural and social processes affecting delta systems and delta life. With an interdisciplinary team of researchers, students, professionals and practitioners we will explore drivers of change in deltas, impacts of these changes, and sustainable management solutions, by means of lectures, group sessions, and excursions in the Rhine-Meuse delta (NL).

Are you working on river flooding, coastal dynamics, land subsidence, salt water intrusion, livelihoods, governance or environmental law? These and other interdisciplinary topics are all important for the sustainable management of coastal river deltas worldwide, which are currently under pressure of human impact and climate change. In this course, organized by the research focus area Future Deltas of Utrecht University (www.uu.nl/futuredeltas), we offer an unique opportunity to further explore your specific subject, framed within a broader context of natural (e.g. physical, biological, geochemical) and social (e.g. governance, law, socio-economic) processes affecting delta systems and their inhabitants. We invite you to join us, to together ensure future delta life!

River deltas are complex systems, and therefore, cover a wide range of topics from both the natural and the social sciences. In this course, you will look beyond your own (research or professional) boundary, and place your expertise in the wider context of sustainable delta management. Integrating disciplines, approaches and experiences is urgently needed because (often densely populated) deltas worldwide are increasingly under pressure of climate change and human impact. For example, deltas suffer from accelerated sea-level rise due to global warming, altered supply of sediment and water due to dike, dam and reservoir construction, accelerated land subsidence due to drainage and extraction of groundwater and hydrocarbons, and loss of habitats and biodiversity due to land use change. These changes affect livelihood conditions, and potentially, societies. To deal with the changing delta conditions and to ensure a sustainable future delta life, we need to understand the driving forces behind the processes of change in a delta, increase our ability to predict impacts, and optimize management and governance solutions.

An interdisciplinary team of teachers, researchers, and practitioners is ready to guide you on this course. By means of lectures, group sessions, and excursions in the Rhine-Meuse delta (NL) you will learn:
(1) How a delta system operates;
(2) Why an interdisciplinary approach is needed for sustainable delta management;
(3) How to apply this knowledge to find sustainable delta management solutions for specific delta areas or cases (‘science-meets-practice’).

We will focus on four main delta themes: land subsidence, flooding, salt water intrusion, and urbanisation. Each of these themes are addressed following the Future Deltas approach of understanding drivers, predicting impacts and optimizing management solutions.

Tags: delta, human impact, climate change, sustainable management, interdisciplinary, subsidence, flooding, salt water intrusion, delta cities, coast

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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COURSE LEADER

Dr. S. van Asselen

LECTURERS

Lecturers include (preliminary list): dr. E. Stouthamer, prof. dr. H. Middelkoop, dr. R. van de Wal, dr. A. Keessen, prof. dr. A. Zoomers, dr. M. Hefting, dr. A. Keessen, dr. S. van Asselen, dr. H.K. Gilissen, dr. F. van Laerhoven. In addition, local practitioners will be invited.

Introductory lectures on: Delta problems worldwide, Physical and Ecological processes in Deltas, Governance in deltas, Delta livelihoods, Law and Regulations in Deltas.

Thematic lectures on: Land subsidence, Flooding, Salt water intrusion, Coastal dynamics and Water quality, Delta cities (multiple lectures per theme, encompassing drivers, impacts and solutions).

TARGET GROUP

Professionals, postdocs, PhD’s, and master students. Participants should have a background in earth sciences, ecology, human geography, spatial planning, environmental governance or environmental or water law.
For Master students: The daily board of Future Deltas will decide on participation of Master students based on a letter of motivation and CV, which should be submitted to: s.vanasselen@uu.nl.

COURSE AIM

The aim of this course is to provide participants with a thorough integrated understanding of the physical, ecological, institutional, socio-economic and legal drivers of change in deltas, their impacts, and of solutions for sustainable management of deltas.

STUDY LOAD

Day 1: Multi-disciplinary introductory lectures on deltas issues worldwide, interactive group sessions and discussions (Utrecht).

On-site thematic days on:

Day 2: Land Subsidence (west of Utrecht).
Day 3: Flooding (near Middelburg).
Day 4: Salt water intrusion, Coastal dynamics and Water quality (near Middelburg).
Day 5: Delta cities (Dordrecht & Biesbosch) + Wrap-up session (Utrecht).

Each thematic day consists of lectures, working group sessions, and field visits. Local practitioners will be invited for discussions.

FEE

• € 500 - Course + course materials + lunch
• € 300 - Course + course materials + lunch

The reduced fee of 300 euros applies for Master students and PhD researchers.

DISCOUNTS AND COMBINATIONS
» Overview of all available discounts

SCHOLARSHIPS

Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

MORE INFORMATION

Name: Sanneke van Asselen
Email: s.vanasselen@uu.nl
Telephone: +31(0)30 2532754

» Contact Utrecht Summer School

REGISTRATION

Deadline for registration: 25 June 2017

Application closed