Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Agenda

Future Deltas Course: Let’s ensure future delta life together

Date: 28 August 2017 - 01 September 2017
Location: Utrecht and Middelburg

2017-08-28_Future_Deltas_Course

River flooding, coastal dynamics, land subsidence, salt water intrusion, livelihoods, governance and environmental law are all important topics for the sustainable management of coastal river deltas worldwide, which are currently under pressure of human impact and climate change. In this course, we offer a unique opportunity to examine natural and social processes affecting delta systems and delta life. With an interdisciplinary team of researchers, students, professionals and practitioners we will explore drivers of change in deltas, impacts of these changes, and sustainable management solutions, by means of lectures, group sessions, and excursions in the Rhine-Meuse delta (NL).

Are you working on river flooding, coastal dynamics, land subsidence, salt water intrusion, livelihoods, governance or environmental law? These and other interdisciplinary topics are all important for the sustainable management of coastal river deltas worldwide, which are currently under pressure of human impact and climate change. In this course, organized by the research focus area Future Deltas of Utrecht University (www.uu.nl/futuredeltas), we offer an unique opportunity to further explore your specific subject, framed within a broader context of natural (e.g. physical, biological, geochemical) and social (e.g. governance, law, socio-economic) processes affecting delta systems and their inhabitants. We invite you to join us, to together ensure future delta life!

River deltas are complex systems, and therefore, cover a wide range of topics from both the natural and the social sciences. In this course, you will look beyond your own (research or professional) boundary, and place your expertise in the wider context of sustainable delta management. Integrating disciplines, approaches and experiences is urgently needed because (often densely populated) deltas worldwide are increasingly under pressure of climate change and human impact. For example, deltas suffer from accelerated sea-level rise due to global warming, altered supply of sediment and water due to dike, dam and reservoir construction, accelerated land subsidence due to drainage and extraction of groundwater and hydrocarbons, and loss of habitats and biodiversity due to land use change. These changes affect livelihood conditions, and potentially, societies. To deal with the changing delta conditions and to ensure a sustainable future delta life, we need to understand the driving forces behind the processes of change in a delta, increase our ability to predict impacts, and optimize management and governance solutions.

An interdisciplinary team of teachers, researchers, and practitioners is ready to guide you on this course. By means of lectures, group sessions, and excursions in the Rhine-Meuse delta (NL) you will learn:

  1. How a delta system operates;
  2. Why an interdisciplinary approach is needed for sustainable delta management;
  3. How to apply this knowledge to find sustainable delta management solutions for specific delta areas or cases (‘science-meets-practice’).

We will focus on four main delta themes: land subsidence, flooding, salt water intrusion, and urbanisation. Each of these themes are addressed following the Future Deltas approach of understanding drivers, predicting impacts and optimizing management solutions.

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