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Water Event Feature 2015 (Credit: NASA)

Education Geosciences Information for Teachers virtual workshop (vGIFT) 2022 Topic: How the planet shapes history - Geosciences, human society and civilizations

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European Geosciences Union

Geosciences Information for Teachers virtual workshop (vGIFT) 2022

Our Geoscience Information for Teachers (GIFT) workshop will run virtually for the second time as part of the EGU General Assembly in a series of five half-day sessions between April 4 and 8, 2022. Each session starts with a short introduction, and is followed by 2-4 presentations. The presentations are 35-40 minutes each. After each presentation, 10-15 minutes will be devoted to questions from the participants and answers by the presenter. Two hour-long ‘hands-on’ workshops are also part of the sessions.

The workshop will be joined by 190 participants from 30 countries and different time zones around the world, who have all pre-registered and been accepted.

This year’s theme is How the planet shapes history.- Geosciences, human society and civilizations. The workshop will explore key aspects of the influence of geological and climatic processes on the human society and civilizations throughout human history, through topical presentations from scientists at the cutting-edge of research, together with hands-on teaching activities, following the tradition of GIFT workshops.

The theme is very broad, although somewhat not very well known or conceived. The human societies and civilizations, have, throughout history, been shaped by the forces of nature. Climate, for example, influenced the agricultural productivity, economic performance and conflict level of preindustrial societies. We have chosen a variety of talks pertaining to the matter which, we hope, will act as a primer for further exploration in the classroom. In the two-and-a-half days of the workshop we will have time to discuss only some aspects of the influence Earth processes have on shaping human societies. We will touch upon themes such as the influence of geology on the roman civilization, the role of climate on the rise and fall of empires, records of aurorae from ancient Mesopotamia and Greece to Austrian monasteries sunspot records. We will explore Pleistocene ecology through cave paintings and volcanic eruptions from medieval times to present through their influence on the work of the great masters. We will also study the physical and societal effects of volcanic eruptions through the case study of the 1783 Laki eruption and the volcanic double event at around 536. Medieval climate fluctuations and societal change in Byzantium will also be presented.

Alongside with the oral presentations, hands-on activities will be included in the programme. For example, the activity “Seismic site effect in Rome and observation of ancient seismic events on Roman archaeological sites” and the activity “Geoscience in the classroom”, which will be explored with the EGU Field Officers team.

If you have any queries please contact the Education Committee Deputy Chair Jean-Luc Berenguer, at:

Please see the programme brochure (PDF document, 73.4 KB) for more details.

Applying to participate in the GIFT workshop

Teachers and educators from Europe and around the world can apply to participate in the GIFT workshop by filling in an online application form.

Please use the following application form to take part in this GIFT workshop (application deadline 15 February 2022).