EGU mentoring programme 2017

 – by Susanne Buiter TS Division President –

EGU is launching a mentoring programme at its 2017 General Assembly for
novice conference attendees, students, and early career scientists. The
programme aims to facilitate new connections that may lead to long-term
professional relationships within the Earth, planetary and space science
communities. We anticipate the programme to be a rewarding experience for both mentees and mentors, so do consider signing up: We need both mentees and mentors.  

More information is at:
and the link to the registration form is:

From process to signal – A Galileo conference on environmental seismology (6-9 June 2017)

Galileo flyer cover image 2

I would like to draw your attention to the EGU Galileo conference (

“From Process to Signal – Advancing Environmental Seismology” 

taking place in Ohlstadt, Bavaria, Germany from 6-9 June 2017.

The workshop is orgnized by a team from the GFZ Potsdam (Jens Turowski, Michael Dietze, and Anne Schöpa), and aims to discuss the current use of seismic techniques in the study of the Earth’s surface and the processes that act upon it, a field that is collectively refered to as ‘Environmental Seismology’. In a series of keynote lectures, the state of the art will be surveyed. Presentations by attendees will address the breadth and novelties of current research. Individual break-out groups will discuss pressing scientific issues in small workshops. All scientists are invited who currently use seismic techniques to study geomorphological processes, the cryosphere, the weather, the shallow subsurface and other phenomena at or near the Earth’s surface. Also, those who are interested in the potential of seismic techniques and would like to link with the pioneering community or who wish to use seismic approaches in future are more than welcome to join.

Abstract submission is open from now until March 13, 2017. Please see the EnviroSeis website for details about the slightly different flavour of abstract handling and workshop activities.

Find out more about the event from Jens Turowski (, and feel free do distribute the flyer.


Unwind your EGU stress with a geomorphology memory game

Unwind your EGU stress with a geomorphology memory game

Solmaz Mohadjer, PhD student at the University of Tübingen, found the perfect way to relax during a stressful day at EGU while refreshing your knowledge on landforms: A MEMORY card game.

– written by Solmaz Mohadjer –

Assessing rock surface hardness, dating lateral moraines, modelling future mass-balance changes of glaciers, and playing memory games with school children. Meet Dr. Stefan Winkler, a geomorphologist at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. When he is not roaming around glaciers in New Zealand, Norway and the European Alps, he can be found in school classrooms, with a box of memory cards featuring photographs of different glacial features. The game is simple yet effective, fun and sometimes challenging, even for geomorphologists. The idea for the game came to Stefan while on a geology field trip. There are many ways to unwind at the end of a long day in the field: observing and contemplating nature, yoga, beer or simply going to bed. Stefan adds ‘playing match pair memory game’ to that list.

Most of us have played memory games before, often as kids or parents of kids. Stefan’s memory game, however, is not an ordinary one. It does require you to remember where the card pairs are placed, but that is only one way to get points. To score more, you need to be able to identify the landform shown in the photograph. Is it a drumlin, a fjord, or dead ice? Once the feature is identified, you are asked to describe the landform, explain how it is formed, what it is made out of, and what it says about the glacial history of the region. The game master then judges the quality of the answers using an information card developed for each photo pair. How many points do you think you can score?

This morning at the EGU Booth, I was lucky to stop Stefan from his busy schedule and ask him a simple question: Why do you do this? ‘We need to get geomorphology back into school curriculum,’ he says. But he also emphasizes the importance of considering the end user’s needs, ‘Sadly scientists often create educational tools without involving school teachers.’ He also points out how often teachers become frustrated when they cannot access educational resources developed by scientists because of IT incompatibility, and that the most useful resources are those that are developed in collaboration with teachers.

The memory game was presented at the 2015 General Assembly, and can be ordered by emailing Stefan directly. He will also be convening a session this Thursday, so stop by if you can. If you are lucky, you might be able to unwind with a round of match pair memory game.

solmaz_photoBy Solmaz Mohadjer

Solmaz Mohadjer is the founder of the ParsQuake Project, an initiative with a mission to increase earthquake awareness, education, and preparedness in the global Persian community. She is currently a geohazard PhD researcher in at the University of Tübingen, Germany, with strong interest in science education and outreach.


EGU Workshop: Digital Terrain Analysis of Anthropogenic Landscapes

EGU is about to start and besides many presentation and meeting Paolo Tarolli, Tobias Heckmann and  Wolfgang Schwanghart offer a hands on workshop on Digital Terrain Analysis of Anthropogenic Landscapes (13:30–15:00 in Room L4/5). Please see below some information on the course.

Tarolli & Sofia 2016 (Geomorphology)

Tarolli & Sofia 2016 (Geomorphology)

– written by Paolo Tarolli (University of Padova) –

Humans are among the most prominent geomorphic agents, redistributing land surface, and causing drastic changes to the geomorphic organization of the landscape (e.g. intensive agriculture, urbanization, mining, roads construction), with direct consequences on land degradation and watershed response.
High-resolution topography (HRT) can be useful for engineered landscapes, where the anthropic forcing related to human activities may affect natural processes (Tarolli, 2014). HRT could play a strategic and helpful role, through the recognition of human-induced geomorphic and anthropogenic features, and the connected erosion.

In this workshop, we will explore various techniques to extract and analyze anthropogenic features from high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), and to account for the problems associated with such features in anthropogenic landscapes. Basic knowledge in Matlab® and GIS, and the availability of a laptop are an advantage but they are not a requirement to attend the workshop. Attendants at the beginning of the workshop will receive teaching materials and guidelines for the proposed methodologies.

Specifically, we will aim at:

    1. Extracting channel levees in floodplains, and terraces walls on hillslopes applying the semi-automatic techniques.
    2. Identifying terraces/road induced erosion/landslides.
    3. Automatic detection of bank erosion in agricultural drainage networks.

Upon course termination attendants will be awarded with a specific certificate of attendance signed by the EGU – GM division President and by the workshop Instructor.

Tarolli, P., Sofia, G. (2016). Human topographic signatures and derived geomorphic processes across landscapes. Geomorphology, 255, 140-161.
Tarolli, P. (2014). High-resolution topography for understanding Earth surface processes: opportunities and challenges. Geomorphology, 216, 295-312.