Photo competition at the EGU 2012 General Assembly

If you are pre-registered for the 2012 General Assembly (Vienna, April 22-27), we invite you to submit photos to our annual photo competition. Winners receive a free registration to next year’s General Assembly!

The third edition of the EGU photo competition is now open. Until 10 March, every pre-registered participant of the General Assembly can submit up to two photos on any broad theme related to the earth, planetary, and space sciences. Short-listed photos will be exhibited at the conference, with the winner voted by General Assembly participants.

If you submit your images to the photo competition, you agree to also submit them to the EGU photo database, Imaggeo. (You will also have to register on the website so that the organisers can  appropriately process your photos.) Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications, as well as by the press. If you submit your images to the database, you retain full rights of use, since they are licensed and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons license. If a short-listed entry, you also agree for the photo to be exhibited at the General Assembly.

Last year's winning photo: Geysir by James Levine, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Last year’s winning photo: Geysir by James Levine, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

For more information, please check the photo competition page on Imaggeo. Previous winning photographs can be seen on the 2010 and 2011 winners’ pages.

New Science Communications Fellow at the EGU Office

Hello everyone!

I am a new Science Communications Fellow at the Union, where I will be working on the EGU Newsletter and assisting Bárbara Ferreira in developing media-related and science information communications.

I am currently in the final stages of my doctorate (DPhil) at the University of Oxford, where my molecular biology project explores the diversity and ecology of Apusozoa, a phylum of free-living protozoan flagellates. I also take an active interest in science policy and communications and spent three months on a NERC-funded Secondment to the UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST), where I researched and wrote a parliamentary briefing on biodiversity offsetting market-based conservation strategies. Having also recently served as a Trans-Atlantic Junior Fellow at the Colorado-based El Pomar Foundation, I maintain a keen interest in large-scale transatlantic policy issues and have recently been chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders in Environment and Energy Policy (ELEEP) network, a project hosted by the Atlantic Council of the United States.

My studies include an MSc degree from the University of Oxford as well as undergraduate degrees in Environmental Biology from the University of St Andrews and Sociology/Psychology from McGill University.

If you have any questions about the EGU or any of its publications, I can be reached at +49(0)892180-6717 or at

All the best,
Edvard Glücksman

Job opportunity at the EGU General Assembly

We are currently looking for science communication or science journalism students interested in working at the press office of the 2012 General Assembly, which is taking place in Vienna, Austria, from 22-27 April. The students will be assisting the EGU press officer and the journalists at the press centre, and are expected to help organise and run press conferences. Other tasks include writing and/or editing for EGU Today, the daily newsletter at the General Assembly, and for GeoLog, the EGU blog.

This is a paid opportunity for science communication students to gain experience in the workings of a press office at a major scientific conference, and to interact with journalists, freelance science writers and public information officers. Similarly to other student assistants at the conference, the successful candidates will receive €8 per hour and will be given an extra €150 for travel and accommodation expenses.

The positions are open to University students or recent graduates in science communication, science writing or science journalism (preference will be given to postgraduate students). Applicants must have an expert command of English and good computer and Internet skills.

Applications should include
* Cover letter and CV (one page each) summarising relevant experience
* Two recent writing samples (published or unpublished, aimed at a general audience)

Application documents (in English) should be submitted by e-mail in a single file to Bárbara T. Ferreira, the EGU Media and Communications Officer ( Bárbara can also be contacted for informal enquiries.

The deadline for applications is 10 February 2012.

The EGU ( is Europe’s premier geosciences union, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the geosciences and the planetary and space sciences for the benefit of humanity, worldwide. The EGU organises a General Assembly that attracts over 10,000 scientists each year, as well as reporters interested in hearing about the latest research in topics that range from volcanology and earthquakes to climate science, and from solar physics to planetary science.

Deadline approaching: applications for the GIFT Symposium

Applications for the 2012 GIFT Symposium should be received by November 30, 2011. Send your application via email to any of the members of the Committee on Education preferentially the member in your country if there is one. Details for the application are below.

The 2012-GIFT (Geosciences Information for Teachers) symposium will take place on April 23-25, 2012 during the General Assembly of EGU in Vienna Austria. The general theme of the workshop is « Water!» and will be dedicated to the study of the hydrological problems of our planet.

The water cycle, also known as the hydrological cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. It also involves the exchange of heat energy, which leads to temperature changes. The water cycle figures significantly in the maintenance of life, society and ecosystems on Earth. However, several problems threaten water resources today, which are related to the unsustainable use of water and the lack of adequate supply of water in many parts of the world. Such problems are caused by an ever increasing population, consumerism, urbanization and changes in agricultural practice.

In addition, as the water cycle involves heat exchange, it has a two-way feedback with our climate as well. In particular, the effects of atmospheric global warming on the water cycle are significant. Observed warming over several decades has been linked to changes in the large-scale hydrological cycle such as:

• increasing atmospheric water vapor content;
• changing precipitation patterns, intensity and extremes;
• reduced snow cover and widespread melting of ice;
• and changes in soil moisture and runoff.

As a consequence, water resources have already been deeply affected by global warming: sea levels have risen, glaciers have retreated. The hydrological cycle is heavily affected by land use change which in turn affects groundwater recharge. The above problems cause concerns in almost every sector of everyday life, and geo-engineers are seeking ways of mitigation. All water bodies are going to be affected by global warming, making knowledge of the water cycle essential for any kind of human activity. Entire regions on Earth would face extreme temperatures eventually associated with torrential rainfalls whilst other regions would experience scarcity of water and droughts.

In the GIFT workshop “Water!” all the different aspects of the water cycle will be described and discussed. Talks will focus on global freshwater availability and distribution, overexploitation of water, strategies for sustainable use of water in the future and the threats by environmental change. Particular regions where global warming will have a major impact, such as the regions depending on the water supply from the Himalayan, Alpine and Andes mountain glaciers will be used as exemplars. The use of naturally occurring isotopes to “fingerprint” sources of water in precipitation and rivers, and the presence of ‘ancient’ water beneath the deserts and other areas, will also be discussed..

Focus will also be put on climate model simulations for the 21st century, mitigation measures to reduce the magnitude of impacts of global warming on water resources, and water resources management and its impacts on other policy areas.

As in every GIFT Symposium, contributions by the attending teachers on particular “off-the-program” activities that they may have had in their classrooms are particularly welcomed, either as poster or oral presentations, even if their subject is not directly related to the theme of the workshop.

Also, a first step will be a guided visit to the Vienna Museum of Natural Sciences, on Sunday April 22 afternoon, followed by a small reception as an ice-breaker event.

Grants are available to support teachers to participate in the 2012 Geosciences Information for Teachers (GIFT) Symposium at the 2012 European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. Selected teachers will receive a travel /hotel stipend and free registration to the meeting.

Participating teachers will be selected based on their teaching experience and a supporting statement from their school administration. Selected teachers will be expected to attend the entire workshop and submit a statement within 1 year after the workshop on their impression of the workshop and how they plan to use this experience in their future teaching activities.

To apply please submit the following information:

• Applicant name, contact information, E-mail address
• School name and address
• List the subjects you teach, and the ages of students
• The workshop will be conducted in English. Please describe your capability to understand and speak English.
• A description of any leadership activities you have taken at your school or in national educational activities (examples: training new teachers, developing curriculum, etc.).
• A letter of recommendation from the senior administrator in your school supporting your application (by attached pdf document).
• (Optional) There will be opportunities for teachers to present any creative science activities they have developed for their classrooms to other teachers at the workshop. These presentations can be in the form of a talk, a poster or a demonstration. If you would like to present a science activity, please provide a title and description for inclusion in the program.

Applications should be received as soon as possible and in any case no later than November 30, 2011.

This information is also available in pdf format.