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Volkswagen Foundation supports ZALF summer school in 2020

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Press Release


An international summer school entitled: “Modelling approaches for climate risk and climate change adaptations in the context of sustainable intensification in semi-arid West Africa”, is planned for the summer of 2020. The summer school will take place in Bamako, Mali and is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation´s ´Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in SSA program. 

Hosted together by the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Bamako, Mali, the summer school will bring together international experts and 26 young early career researchers to critically assess the role of crop modelling tools to assess climate risk and identify climate change adaptations for the region’s farming systems.

A strategic and important topic

The summer school aims to enhance awareness and appreciation of the state of the art in crop modelling for addressing climate risk and sustainable intensification among the region’s next generation of researchers and agricultural policy makers. The training will have an emphasis on recent model developments, methodologies for analysis, as well as key limitations in their use and emerging complimentary data driven approaches. Best practices for stakeholder engagement, study design, data processing, scenario formulation, model selection, model parameterization, and uncertainty analysis will be explored. A second aim is to provide students with experience in designing projects considering transdisciplinary perspectives on how and to which extent cropping systems models can be applied for in decision making processes and sustainability outcomes for a range of actors. These learning objectives will be achieved through a balance of lectures with international experts; group discussions with peers and lecturers; model demonstrations; applied tutorial exercises; groupwork in designing and implementing model based analyses and student presentations. Lectures will be given in either French or English.  

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More informations:

  • Who can apply: PhD students and postdocs working in crop physiology; agronomy; soil and environmental sciences or farm system analysis in the region.
  • Where: The summer school is tentatively planned to be held at the ICRISAT offices in Bamako, Mali.
  • When: The call for applications  and details about the application procedures will be launched in the next month 
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