Increased population pressure, industrialisation and intensive land use are causing depletion of natural resources and are limiting the performance of land with respect to its functions such as biomass production, carbon sequestration, water purification, etcetera. The additive effects of climate change and the abovementioned aspects of global change influence the capacity of soils to sustain functions to provide planetary services and human wellbeing. Soil (pedosphere) forms the interface between the air (atmosphere) and the earth (lithosphere) and interacts with surface and groundwater (hydrosphere) and living organisms (biosphere). It is thus a vital component of ecosystems and needs to be secured.
Specialised soil scientists are needed to understand and address the impact of climate change on soil conditions and processes, and vice versa. They study soil properties affected by temperature and precipitation changes and the role of soils in carbon sequestration. These scientists provide guidance on best management practices and work with other experts to implement climate-smart soil management policies. Their expertise is crucial for sustainable soil use and conserving soil health in the face of climate change.
The International Master in Soils and Global Change (IMSOGLO) aims at training and educating these next generations of soil scientists that have the knowledge and skills to characterize soils, understand soil evolution in an ecosystem context under global change based on a deep insight in the underlying processes and interactions, and develop strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Graduates of IMSOGLO will be equipped with an understanding of the fundamental principles of soil science and the ability to contribute to multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary work in different ecosystems. This will allow them to navigate the often competing interests of land users, managers, and other stakeholders, and to understand and appreciate the various viewpoints at play. Additionally, students will have a deep understanding of high-order targets such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other international and European ambitions, such as the EU’s Green Deal, and will be able to make conscious contributions to policy-relevant research.
IMSOGLO brings together the expertise of 4 renown EU universities:
- Ghent University (Belgium)
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria)
- University of Göttingen (Germany)
- Aarhus University (Denmark)