The story behind IMSOGLO
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 regenerate and may even cause soil degradation.
The future capacity of soils to support (human) life is at stake, and this has been realised by national and international organisations and governmental bodies, such as the EU. Programmes have been developed to protect the environment and to increase ecosystem resilience. Numerous directives have been developed and implemented that build on scientific knowledge on soil response to external pressures. This scientific knowledge is available in European universities, but rather dispersed due to the specialisation of the research groups and their size, which makes it difficult for students to follow a focused curriculum on soils and global change at any individual university. The International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change (IMSOGLO) programme aims to teach the knowledge, tools, technologies and applications in the context of soils and global change by bringing together the expertise of research groups at 4 renown EU universities:
- Ghent University (Belgium)
- University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria)
- University of Göttingen (Germany)
- Aarhus University (Denmark)
Alarming effects of global change on soils observed throughout the world emphasize the need to train more people worldwide to understand how soils react to global change and to be able to develop prevention and remediation strategies and increase soil resilience. The participating universities in IMSOGLO are very well equipped to give stimulatory and targeted training on soil interactions with global change to an international audience of students and scientists from Europe, technologically advanced countries, developing countries and countries in transition.