Water Resources, Land-use and Forestry

The future of water resources

The sustainable management of water resources, land and forestry is a key challenge for humanity in the 21st century, that is tightly related to the UN sustainable development goals. The nexus between water and ecology is essential to sustainability, economic and environmental development and therefore well-being for the whole humanity. The growing desire for higher living standards and the concurrent environmental changes – in particular climate change – require a forward looking and transdisciplinary approach to manage water resources and environmental resources in general. In particular, an innovative approach to adaptation to climate change is required to close the gap between climate change scenarios, policy making and technical design of adaptation strategies.

Bologna, Italy


20 June 2022 - 2 July 2022


88 h

Total Number of Hours


Number of participants

€ 400,00

Registration Fee

22 May 2022

Application deadline

The main purpose of the course is (a) to provide an overview of the impact of climate change on water resources, water related hazards, land and forestry management; (b) to set the basis for the technical design of climate change adaptation strategies; (c) to highlight research questions and to promote research activity on future water and land with a technical and action-oriented approach.

In particular the course will focus on the following themes:

  • How will climate change impact the water cycle? What models can be use an how uncertainty may be assessed?
  • How land, including coastal, mountain and polar regions, is impacted by climate change, through global warming, sea level raise and water related hazards?
  • How can we reduce the impact of water resources management? How can we sustainably manage water and what are the emerging risks for the future?
  • How are living species impacted by climate and land change? How can ecology and biogeosciences support climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Students must be equipped with personal computer. 

The program of course will address different topics as follows:

  • Prof. Jonathan Bamber, Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, Bristol University: “The role of snow and ice in the climate system”
  • Prof. Dr. Günter Blöschl, Head of Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology: “Flood processes and climate change”
  • Prof. Lisa Borgatti, Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna: “Past, present and future of landslide processes”
  • Prof. Alessandro Gargini, Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences Department – BiGeA, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna: “Climate Change and Groundwater”
  • Prof. Giovanna Grossi, Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, University of Brescia: “Assessing climate change effects on the hydrology of mountain areas”
  • Prof. Giuliana Panieri, Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway: “Arctic extreme environments in a climate change context”
  • Prof. Riccardo Valentini, full professor of Forest Ecology at the University of Tuscia: Toward a new paradigm of forest and agriculture in the light of climate change

Please note that this is an intensive course that will require a daily engagement approximately from 9 am to 6 pm.  Lectures will be in the morning, while activities and practical exercises will be held in the afternoon.

The Course is expressly designed to provide advanced education and scientific concepts on:

  • transdisciplinary assessment of climate change impacts on water resources, land and society;
  • strategies and methodologies to mitigate climate change impacts on water resources and water induced hazards;
  • technical design and policy making for climate change adaptation;
  • accounting for climate change in technical design, uncertainty assessment and responsibilities.

The learning methods will make use of interactive activities and advanced learning tools.

Alberto Montanari – Director of the Course

Alberto Montanari is full professor of Hydrology and Water Resources Management for the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Material Engineering at the University of Bologna. He is currently president of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). From 2013 to 2017 he was Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research, published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). From 2009 to 2017 he chaired the Union Awards and Medals Committee of EGU. In 2017 he was awarded the Union Service Award by EGU and was elected Fellow of the AGU. In 2018 he was awarded the Henry Darcy Medal by EGU. In 2019 he was awarded the Dooge Medal by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, World Meteorological Organisation and UNESCO. Alberto’s research interests span over water resources assessment, sustainable exploitation of water resources, climate change assessment, impact and adaptation.

Jonathan Bamber

Jonathan Bamber is professor of glaciology and Earth Observation, University of Bristol and Tech. University Munich and Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre. He has a degree in physics and a PhD in geophysics. He specialises in the analysis of airborne & satellite data sets from the polar regions, and in combining these data with models of the Earth system. He is an expert on the ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland and their contribution to sea level. He has also published extensively in the general field of geodesy, sea level variations in time and space and measuring mass exchange between the land and oceans due to melting of land ice and the hydrological cycle.

Günter Blöschl

Günter Blöschl is Senator of the Helmholtz Association for the Research Field Earth and Environment and Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at Vienna University of Technology, Austria. He holds a diploma in civil engineering (1985) and a PhD in hydrology (1990), both from the Vienna University of Technology. In 1989 he was a research fellow at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, followed by research positions at the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra and at the University of Melbourne, Australia, from 1992 to 1994. After receiving a senior doctorate (Habilitation) in 1997 he held the position of Associate Professor of Hydrology at the Vienna University of Technology until he was appointed full professor in 2007. Since 2012 he has been Head of the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at the Vienna University of Technology. Professor Blöschl is best known for his research on floods, droughts and transport of matter in the landscape.

Lisa Borgatti

Lisa Borgatti has a PhD in Earth Sciences and she currently is full professor of Engineering Geology at the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering DICAM, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Italy.

The research activity is focused on natural and engineered slopes. Factors predisposing and triggering instability at different time scales, mapping, prospecting, in situ and remote sensing monitoring, numerical modeling, and design of mitigation measures are analysed. The study areas are located in the northern Apennines, in the eastern Alps, and in Northern America. Have authored more than 100 original scientific papers on engineering geological and geomorphological applications, 78 of which are indexed in Scopus.

Alessandro Gargini

Alessandro Gargini is full professor of Hydrogeology and Head of the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences (BiGeA) at the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. He got MSc in Geological Sciences and PhD in Applied Hydrogeology. He is currently component of the Italian Chapter of IAH (International Association of Hydrogeologists). Alessandro’s research interests span over Plume characterization and isotopic fingerprinting in porous aquifers; Impacts of tunnelling on water resources; Groundwater flow systems in fractured aquifers; Climate change and groundwater.

Giovanna Grossi

She is Associate Professor in Hydraulic Structures at the University of Brescia, member of the Academic Senate and Deputy Head of International Affairs. Her research activity mainly focuses on sustainable urban drainage, real time flood forecasting and the effects of climate change on water resources. She coordinates WatShop, a science shop on “Sustainable water resources management, control and consumption in a changing climate” (www.watshop.it). She is also the coordinator of a new Knowledge for Change Hub (https://www.unescochair-cbrsr.org/) in Brescia. She currently teaches Hydraulics and hydraulic infrastructures and Climate change adaptation and mitigation for engineering students.

Giuliana Panieri

Giuliana Panieri is a Professor in Geology and Environment and Climate at The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø (UiT), and research scientist in the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE). Giuliana has also an Adjunct Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in USA. She holds a PhD degree in Paleontology and a Research Post-Doctorate in Micropaleontology and Geochemistry. She seeks to answer questions regarding the timing, periodicity, and intensity of methane emissions with the final goal of assessing their evolution through time and understanding possible connections to climate change in the Arctic.

Riccardo Valentini

Riccardo Valentini is full professor of forest ecology at the University of Tuscia and he is member of the Strategic Committee at CMCC Foundation.

His expertise concern the role of land use changes and forestry in the carbon cycle, biodiversity and bioenergy He was one of the pioneers of terrestrial carbon research working in several ecosystems placed in North and South America, Europe, Australia, China, Japan, Africa in different biomes including forests, crops, grasslands, savannahs, wetlands etc. He was involved as lead author in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 3rd and 5th Special Reports.


The course will be held in Bologna, at the NH Hotel Villanova, about 8 km from
the city center. The hotel is easily accessible by car and transportation: it is 30-minute drive from Bologna’s central train station and is well connected by bus and train.


Please remember that participation in presence is mandatory.

The cost for accomodation at the NH Hotel Villanova is 75 euros per night. The school is offering a limited financial assistance to cover the accomodation costs. If you are interested, please check the section below.

Launches and dinners will be provided and offered by the school. Students are free to organize themselves at their own expense upon notice. The school will not cover any extra costs.

When booking the accommodation, please be aware of the fact that the activities will finish on Friday 1st of July.


Nearest airport: Bologna’s airport “Guglielmo Marconi”

Nearest train station: Bologna Centrale or San Lazzaro di Savena

The school offer a limited financial assistance, based on the applicant’s needs. It will cover accommodation expenses in Bologna. If interested, please specify it in the application form in the dedicated section. You can also leave a statement (max 200 words) explaining why you should benefit from this assistance.

The assistance WILL NOT cover travel costs.

Since there is a limited number of places, you are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.

If accepted, you will receive an email confirming your financial assistance by secretariat@fersschool.it

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