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Climate change and landscape evolution in the Mediterranean context

Learn about climate change and landscape evolution in a mediterannean island and advance your knowledge on field methods and techniques

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CIVIS focus area
Climate, environment and energy
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Environmental sciences, Urbanism, Geography
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
1 October - 1 November 2024

The BIP is hosted by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and is focused on-field activities and new field methods and techniques. This way, the students will be better trained, exposed to the academic and cultural experience of different universities and countries, will learn new techniques and acquire more qualifications for the job market.

The physical activities of the programme will be field-based, training students on climate change effects on Mediterranean landscapes, including:

  • geomorphological risks in coastal zones such as storm floods and erosion,
  • nature-based solutions (NBS),
  • sea-level rise,
  • coastal erosion,
  • adaptation and mitigation strategies,
  • human-induced impacts.

The 5-day field part will be held on the island of Naxos in Aegean Archipelago - Greece. The entire area is already affected by climate change. The vegetation, the runoff erosion, the flash flood events, the desertification and coastal erosion - they all prove that. The coastal landscape provides spectacular examples of sea-level fluctuations, sea-level indicators of former sea level stands, the interaction between landscape and humans from antiquity until nowadays and well-developed coastal landforms. The active geomorphology, the processes including tectonics are amazingly self-explanatory and it's a unique example for students to better understand the landscape evolution and the effect of climate change to landscape. The area gives an excellent opportunity for discussions about adaptation and mitigation strategies and natural-based solutions. 

The virtual part will combine online pre-recorded lectures and activities with online instructor-led discussions. The virtual component will give students the theoretical background on the subjects of this course but virtually introduce them to the study area of the physical mobility. 

Main topics addressed

  • Understanding climate change and landscape evolution in the Mediterranean context
  • Understanding how climate change is affecting the landscape
  • Climate changes from the north to the south of Europe
  • Training on coastal landscape topics
  • Coastal evolution, coastal processes, coastal evolution
  • The future of coastal lagoons
  • Palaeogeographical evolution/ reconstruction
  • Protection of coastal vulnerable environments
  • Sand dunes: natural vs human-induced factors

Learning outcomes

  • understanding climate change and landscape evolution in the Mediterranean context;
  • understanding how climate change is affecting the landscape;
  • climate changes from the north to the south of Europe;
  • training on coastal landscape topics;
  • new competences on coastal geomorphological methods and techniques.
Dates: 1 October - 1 November 2024 Total workload: 179 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Locations: Naxos Island, Greece Language: English

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The physical component will take place between 28 October - 1 November 2024 and will be divided into two main parts: the field activities and the laboratory activities. The list below indicates the main subjects that will be discussed and the main activities in the field and in the lab:

  • Beachrocks as sea level indicators: how to map them, how to sample them- Coastal erosion and methods
  • Coastal evolution. Mapping and sampling
  • Coastal geomorphological mapping using GIS tools
  • Coastal processes, coastal evolution, discussion
  • Future of lagoons
  • Palaeogeographical evolution / reconstruction
  • Protection of coastal vulnerable environments
  • Sand dunes: natural vs human-induced factors
  • The role of beachrocks for coastal protection
  • Vulnerability
  • Aerial photography-aerial photogrammetry
  • Analysing coastline based on RTK -GNSS measurements
  • Analysing data collected in the field
  • Cross section development
  • Mapping coastline
  • RTK cross sections, RTK-GNSS mapping sand dunes
  • Core sampling

Some of the tools/ methods used during the field activities are: ArcGIS field maps, sampling hard coastal formations (e.g. beachrocks), core analysis, drone, GIS, MIKE software, morphological mapping, numerical simulation/ wave propagation. 

Virtual part

Τhe virtual component will be preparatory to set the basis for a better understanding of the physical part. It will introduce students to the theoretical background on coastal zone processes, landforms and evolution, climate change and its effects on the coastal Mediterranean landscape. It will include live presentations but also asynchronous training tools such as multimedia material and recorded lectures.

The online section will also include a virtual fieldtrip provided by the tutors of the host institution, as well as virtual reality tools to 'visit' in advance the sites included in the physical component. The aim is for the students to be acquainted with the study sites prior to the physical mobility so that, once in filed, the focus to be on the application and training in methods and techniques in coastal geomorphological topics.

Some of the topics covered in this part:

  • Climate change and landscape evolution
  • Coastal processes- Coastal landforms
  • Coastal evolution
  • Vulnerability based on the geomorphic hazards
  • The role of tectonics to the landscape
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
  • Introduction to the Cyclades environment and the evolution of Naxos coastal zone


This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD students at CIVIS member universities, with a background in geology, geomorhology, environmental sciences. Bachelor students should be toward the end of their studies.

Participants should have not only a good level of written and spoken English (B2) but also:

  • theoretical thinking and ability to turn theory into practice;
  • problem solving ability through application of knowledge;
  • search, analysis and composition of data and information by using the necessary technologies;
  • teamwork;
  • work in interdisciplinary environment;
  • respect of the natural environment.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Students from CIVIS’ strategic partner universities in Africa cannot apply for participation in this course.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 28 April 2024. Don't forget to also include:

  • CV

  • Motivation Letter

All applications will be evaluatedd based on their CV,  the quality and clarity of the motivation letter and the relevance of the students' studies with the subject of the BIP.

Apply now


Evaluation of the students on the virtual component will be accomplished through online questionnaires/ quizzes. Regarding the field activities, students will be evaluated through a presentation they will have to do at the end of the physical mobility.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

  • Dr. Dr. MSc Niki Evelpidou, Professor, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment
  • Dr. Anna Karkani, Laboratory Teaching Staff, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment 
  • Dr. Giannis Saitis, Researcher, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment

University of Bucharest

  • Dr. Mihaela Verga, Lecturer, Faculty of Geography
  • Dr. Alfred Vespremeanu-Stroe, Professor of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geography 
  • Dr. Ion Florin Tătui, Researcher, Faculty of Geography

Stockholm University

  • Dr. Arjen Stroeven, Professor, Department of Physical Geography
  • Dr. Gunhild Rosqvist, Professor, Department of Physical Geography
  • Dr. Maricela De la Torre Castro, Professor, Department of Physical Geography

Aix-Marseille Université

  • Dr. Francois Sabatier, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment

Salzburg University of Austria

  • Dr. Lang Andreas Professor, Head of Research Group Geomorphology Department of Environment & Biodiversity