Detailed information about the course

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Field Course: How microbes are affected by and how they respond to global environmental changes in the high mountains of the Alps.


5 to 10 September 2022

Responsable de l'activité

Pilar Junier


Prof. Kurt Hanselmann, University of Zurich




This CUSO course will be part of the integrated Earth Systems Science (i-ESS) program.

We offer a field course in Geomicrobiology and Environmental & Microbial Ecology in high altitude ecosystems.

We will study, exclusively in the field, the role microorganisms play in "carbonising" biologically "empty" glacial retreat areas, thereby creating habitability under the extreme conditions of alpine environments and leading to the early evolution of ecosystems.

We will ask how rocks can promote colonisation, the roles rocks play in sequestering life-supporting nutrients and how microorganisms can initiate the evolution of geobiochemical cycles.

The course aims to develop skills for field work:

- How to document observations,

- How to integrate them into the existing knowledge base,

- How to make decisions and create new hypotheses in the field,

- How to compile a logical and scientifically sound story from data and impressions.

Each student group will focus on a topic of interest, develop a study script and, over the duration of the course week, design a presentation that will convince and demonstrate to an interested citizen how global changes affect local high mountain ecology.




It is likely that a valid COVID certificate will be required to attend this activity. TBC depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

The group will stay at Davos Youth palace, a Youth Hostel, in rooms of 1 to 2 to 3 people, depending on the needs allowed by the Corona situation and the national protection directives.



Deadline for registration : TBA

To cancel your registration, please write to us at microbiologie(at)cuso(dot)ch



Deadline for registration

In case of question, please contact us at microbiologie(at)cuso(dot)ch

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