The River University is an international and interdisciplinary course for participants from the Baltic Sea Region and Europe. Its objective is to disseminate knowledge about river ecosystems through an open-access platform, presenting information in comprehensible scientific format. The upcoming 4th edition of the event is scheduled to take place in Germany from July 31 to August 4, 2023, with a primary focus on water pollution and risk management.
When visiting the Oder Delta and exploring the nearby Szczecin Lagoon, we have the opportunity to also discover the outdoor European Amazon – Międzyodrze (map). By looking towards the middle Odra and beyond, including its valley and sources in the south, we can gain a greater understanding and firsthand experience of the vital importance of integrated water management for the entire river basin.
In 2022, the Odra River experienced an environmental catastrophe on a European scale, caused by anthropogenic pollution. How can we prevent such catastrophes? How can we act better when they occur? How might risk management and river restoration help in this regard? What about resilience? These highlights will dominate our focus this year, without forgetting the usual river ecology and landscape hydrology.
General information & background
River University supports institutional and official knowledge and was founded by Ewa Leś in 2018 under the wings of Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), where it has been successfully developed through the co-organization with different CCB Member Organizations. The pilot case took place in Poland in 2018. It was then established internationally with the 1st edition in Poland (2020) and the 2nd edition in Lithuania (2021). The 2023 edition is a result of a collaboration between Coalition Clean Baltic and Rewilding Oder Delta.
The university specifically targets participants from the Baltic Sea Region and Europe, including various river stakeholders such as academic staff and students, river practitioners, water-related institutions, official country representatives, consulting/business participants, landscape architects, municipalities, locals, and individuals.
WHEN: 31 July to 4 August 2023
WHERE: Kutzow See, nearby Szczecin lagoon, Oder Delta, Germany
Directions: From Szczecin to Löcknitz by train ca. 20 minutes, from Löcknitz to Kutzow See, transfer to be organised or by own bike (7km). From Berlin to Löcknitz by train ca. 2,5h changing train in Pasewalk or Neubrandenburg.
HOW: The indoor lectures will be combined with outdoor sessions on/in the river.
A full boat of riverine knowledge will be delivered by top lecturers from the best universities, and by practitioners who know rivers by working on them tirelessly. Lectures and presentations will be provided in English. Helping each other (e.g. with translation or other issues) will be the key element of our teamwork. For more information check the agenda.
WHO: We invite participants from the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.
Knowledge of freshwater ecosystems, rivers in particular is advantageous as the course is oriented towards exchanging knowledge amongst water-related sectors. Participants are encouraged to share their concepts of initiatives or projects where the River University knowledge might be applied and be supportive. If a project or initiative needs specific support it’s worth expressing it the earliest so we can look into which support we could provide. Also, participants’ contribution is important for local cases we experience and show you during River University, #regionalsupport. This all ensures that River University delivers useful, applied knowledge, used in your field of practice.
REGISTRATION: Open until 05 June 2023, via this link.
Up to 30 participants will be invited based on the registration form, to keep our group familiar and comfortable. Please, DO NOT buy any tickets before getting a confirmation from the organizers.
COSTS: The course will be free of charge.
The costs of the participation (accommodation, travel, meals, lectures and outdoor activities) will be covered by CCB. Refunded costs for participants up to 200 Euro include travel costs for participants from EU Member States, as well as from the Eastern Partnership countries.