First Winter University


Introduction : 

Inside the GEOPARK project, in two work packages: WP1 (Geology, Biodiversity and Environment) and WP 3 (Higher Education Issues in Geopark) is specified three Training Sessions, described in Deliverable D1 (WP 3) as follows: D1 (WP3): Three training sessions (France, Spain and Morocco) on Geopark issues (conservation, management, heritage, development) organized in MNHN (Month 12), UAB (Month 24) and Morocco (Month 36). These training sessions (40 hours each) will be organised in 3 languages (French, Arab and Spanish) with theoretical lectures and practical field work (of Atlas Mountains, Geopark of Central Catalonia, as well as other Southern countries in the world ) in order to better assess empirical impacts on territory and local population. The main objective of this D1 (WP3) is to strengthen European & Moroccan education programmes and capacities building (students and professionals) in Geoparks, taking into account local features and issues as a systemic approach (heritage, education, territory, biodiversity, geology, tourism, sustainability, development, populations, etc.).

Training Course :

The first course was initially planned to be organised in the MNHN (France, month 12) and the second in the UAB (Barcelona, month 24), the last one in Marrakech. However due to multiple reasons, it was decided by the consortium that UAB was to host the first training session during the 12th project month from 18th to 21th January 2016. Location of the event was the ICTA (Institute of Environmental Science and Technology) located on the campus of UAB. The organization of the first training session was undertaken UAB team led by Prof. José Luis Brianso (UAB), Professor Martí Boada (ICTA), Dr. Carles Barriocanal (ICTA) and two ICTA doctoral students: Antoni Mas and Cinthia Pereira. With speakers coming from MNHN, UCA, UAB and Cerdán Eng, each member of the consortium were given equitable voice during the winter school. Speakers presented their research within project, and a 40-minute documentary on geopark filmed by UAB-ICTA team was projected to the public. As one of the objectives of D1 (WP3) was to encourage participation of students, 12 Master or Doctoral students were invited: 50% from UAB and the 50% from ICTA. Each of them were given a certificate of attendance and a grant of 100 euros.

Conclusion :

An evaluation session was organised between speakers and students at the end of the training. Reactions showed that the interdisciplinary character had been highly valued. Many students have expressed their satisfaction of being integrated from the start of the project GEOPARK, especially students on Environmental Science and Geology had considered it very appropriate to their academic interests. Nevertheless, as some participants expressed, the French language had not allowed full understanding of everything covered (presentation was given in French, English and Spanish with English slides, copy of which would be provided for the evaluation in September 2016). A wider audience, not just the university, a potential for field visit and more interaction between speakers and students are expected by participants. These feedbacks will be taken into consideration for the preparation of future training sessions.

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