Soils are the basis for plant production and provide numerous ecosystem services. Many human activities are affecting the soil conditions in several ways. Effects like soil compaction, degradation, acidification and salt accumulation restrain the basic requirements for plant production and thus food supply for humans. The project aimed to provide a teaching standard for a European wide perspective from the expertise of the consortium integrating humid, intermediate and dry Mediterranean environments.
The overall objective of this project was to provide an interdisciplinary international activity based on four activities
- Summer School „Soil & Water“
- The development of a teaching module and modules for regular student exchange between all partners
- Enhancing teaching and networking potential for teachers
- Transposing the educational network into future research and teaching activities.
The target groups were students from advanced undergraduate and graduate levels with previous teaching curricula focussed on biology and environmental sciences. Experiences from an interdisciplinary international course for about 30 students from four countries are documented in terms of bringing together expertise from different geographical and climatic locations in Europe. Different land-use and land-history patterns as well as societal structures are included into the teaching.
The teaching material includes among others
- virtual learning aids
- Teaching material like video lectures on topics like Plant Stress, Litter Decomposition, Sustainable Use of Soils or Experimental Climate Change
- A Chemical Ecology Mini-Course
Considering the importance of healthy soils for healthy nutrition, the training material offers a capacity building approach based on students’ exchange.