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Natural Processes and Climate Risks (NatRisks)

Experience an active volcano up-close to raise awareness about climate impacts and geohazards

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CIVIS focus area
Climate, environment and energy
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Environment & Agriculture
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Environmental sciences, Urbanism, Geography
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
26 March - 12 May 2024

This Blended Intensive Programme aims to raising awareness concerning the significance of geological diversity, potential volcanic geohazards, as well as climate change and variability in the broader area of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Within this framework, a series of interactive courses, including experiential workshops and educational lectures, are scheduled to take place in the context of this 5-day CIVIS project hosted in Nisyros Island, Greece. The project’s main goal will be achieved through various activities addressed for Bachelor, Master and PhD students, delivered by the leading experts from four European universities.

The topics of the summer school cover a wide scientific spectrum, extending from the geodynamic past and current volcanic activity of Nisyros to the climate crisis concerns. Through experiential hands-on workshops, participants will interpret the climate related matters and discover the different volcanic formations that construct the region’s geological history and receive knowledge about the occurring volcano-tectonic processes and Nisyros’ active hydrothermal system.

The summer school will take place in Mandraki, the capital of Nisyros island (Dodecanese, Southeastern Aegean Sea, Greece), while participants will have the opportunity to :

  • Participate in field observations of the volcanic geomorphological features, tectonic structures and recognize the potential geological and climate hazards.
  • Gain hands-on experience by conducting fieldwork measurements
  • Use high tech instrumentation (ROV, Parrot Thermal Drone, Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meter, PurpleAir) so as to measure, analyse and represent geological/geomorphological and climatic data.

Why is Nisyros ideal for this course?
Concerning the climate change aspect, being at the same time a part of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the broader area of Greece should not be excluded from the potential climate impacts that affect our planet globally. Taking into consideration the fact that the Eastern Mediterranean along with the Middle East is warming almost two times faster than the global average and other inhabited parts of the world, it is suitably considered as a prominent climate change hotspot. Nisyros’ active hydrothermal field is the ideal natural laboratory to study the impact of gaseous emissions from fumaroles to climate.

Main topics addressed

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Physical Geography
  • Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Climatology
  • Hydrology
  • Volcanology
  • Meteorology
  • Geoheritage
  • Natural Hazards

Learning outcomes

  • Gain hands-on experience by conducting fieldwork measurements;
  • Recognize volcanic geomorphological features and fault zones with field observations, creation of volcano-tectonic map;
  • ROV operations in coastal zone of Nisyros-identification of hot springs;
  • Recognize the potential geological and climate hazards;
  • Describing the climate crisis and how it emerged from an interdisciplinary perspective;
  • Use of high tech instrumentation (ROV, Parrot Thermal Drone, Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meter, PurpleAir);
  • Delivery of high quality environmental data;
  • Learning about geo-heritage sites with a particular focus on the Nisyros aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark (aUGGp) and raising awareness in terms of sustainability and its indisputable merit.
Dates: 26 March - 12 May 2024 Total workload: 127 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 5*
Location: Nisyros, Greece Language: English (B2)
Contact: - Assoc. Professor Nomikou Paraskevi  

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 8 to 12 May 2024 in Mandraki-Nisyros, Dodecanese, Southeastern Aegean Sea, Greece.

During the hands-on course, students will participate in fieldwork observations and measurement, analysis and representation of geological/ geomorphological and climate data, utilizing scientific equipment and instruments. The 5-day course exercises include:

  1. Identification of volcanic morphotectonic features-creation of morphotectonic maps - onsite observations of the intense volcanic activity and ducational tour at the active hydrothermal field
  2. Overview of the Mediterranean Basin hydrological evolution, Holocene sea-level variability, current hydrological status and vulnerability
  3. Field work techniques, including: ROV (Optical imaging, seafloor exploration), ROV data acquisition, analysis and interpretation and identification of the geomorphological features across the coastline of Nisyros (shuttle boat tour)
  4. Introduction into the processes that determine variability of the Earth's climate and the observed signals of change in the Anthropocene
  5. Atmospheric field measurements: air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, global solar irradiance & air quality measurements (PM2.5 concentrations)

More specifically, the scientific equipment will include:

  • Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) represent a state-of-art technology able to image the submarine environment, collect key HD videos and static images to create an ad-hoc toolkit for virtual reality underwater exploration. The operational depth reaches 200m. Using portable instruments, continuous seawater measurements will be available. Students will be trained in submarine data acquisition, modeling and interpretation
  • Drone surveys will also be conducted for geomorphological mapping to identify the different volcanic structures and create a high-resolution topographic model of Nisyros
  • Parrot Thermal Drone with thermal camera will be used to depict the thermal conditions in Nisyros
  • Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meter: in situ 5 min measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and global solar irradiance will be carried out by a mobile weather station (Kestrel) in "Mandraki" and in the craters in order to assess the biometeorological conditions
  • PurpleAir: in situ real-time measurements of air quality (PM2.5 concentrations)
  • T-sensors will obtain high temperatures of the active fumaroles within the craters. Students will analyze time series creating a T-distribution map.

Virtual part

The program includes a 6-day online course of 6 hours/day from March 26 untill April 2nd 2024.

High-skilled professionals of the four participating Universities will give full-time lectures. Students will gain the necessary geological and geomorphological knowledge regarding tectonics, volcanism and geoheritage, as well as the atmospheric parameters that contribute and influence the climate​: 

Day 1:

  • Geology and Volcanotectonics of Nisyros Volcano (onshore-offshore observations)
  • Regional Tephrostratigraphic framework: applications and challenges

Day 2:

  • Climate hazards, impacts and risks
  • Unravelling hazards at poorly known volcanoes

Day 3:

  • Single‐station monitoring of volcanoes using seismic ambient noise
  • Physical oceanography of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin

Day 4:

  • Geoarchaeology of the Anthropocene
  • Significant examples in Geoarchaeology - Danube delta and Venice lagoon case studies

Day 5:

  • Geoarchaeology of catastrophes
  • The importance of cultural geoheritage

Day 6:

  • Recent spatio-temporal changes of land sensitivity to degradation due to climate change and human activities: an approach based on multiple environmental quality indicators
  • The future of the Earth's climate


This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's and PhD's students at CIVIS member universities, holders of a recognized Primary Degree in areas related to Environmental Sciences (preferred), Geology, Physical Geography, Volcanology, Climatology, Hydrology, Meteorology, Geomorphology (a minimum of three years’ study at a university - i.e., 180 ECTS, or equivalent according to the European regulations).

Also, the participants should have excellent English skills (B2), critical thinking, work in interdisciplinary environment, team spirit.

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 7 November 2023, including:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Research projects outlines
  • Level of english (According to CEFR)

Applications will be evaluated based on the association with the subject (Bachelor + Master+ PhD) and research projects related to Environmental Sciences.

Apply now


At the end of each day and for the whole course, students will be requested to:

  • Report briefly (half page long “Summative Assessment”) of the main outcomes of each day
  • On the completion of in situ analysis critical thinking will be requested for comparison of the results with legislations (“Benchmarking assessment”)
  • With the accomplishment of both online and hands-on course, students will take brief exam “final 1hour test” (successful mark above or equal 70%) for the Evaluation of performance of each activity (“Diagnostic assessment”)
  • Students will be asked to complete course evaluation sheets.

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.

1. National and Kapodistrian University of Athens:

  • Assoc. Prof. Paraskevi Nomikou, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment/ Dep. of Geography & Climatology

She is a marine geologist who studies the morphology of underwater volcanoes with extensive experience in marine volcanic and seafloor extruding processes. She has participated in more than 90 oceanographic cruises that focused on submarine volcanism, fault zones, landslides and slope stability and the exploration of seafloor mineral deposits. The rapid development in the field of virtual reality piqued her interest and she has been actively involved in many projects raising public awareness. She has also been involved in the evaluation of the potential geohazards associated with onshore and offshore volcanic activity. She is the Scientific Coordinator of Nisyros aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark (aUGGp).

  • Prof. Panagiotis Nastos, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment/Dep. of Geography & Climatology

He is the Director of the Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment ( and the Director of the MSc Program “Water, Biosphere and Climate Change” (, NKUA. He is the President of the Hellenic Meteorological Society since 2010, member of the Coordination Committee of the Center of Excellence “Natural Disaster Management” of NKUA.

  • Ass. Prof. Xatzaki Maria, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment/Dep. of Geography & Climatology

Her research focuses on climate and climate variability, on current and future climate trends and extremes, on environmental and social impacts of climate change and on vulnerability assessments mainly in the Mediterranean region.

  • Prof. Serafim Poulos, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment/Dep. of Geography & Climatology

He is the Director of the Laboratory of Physical Geography. Scientific interests focus, primarily, on Oceanography and, secondarily, on Physical Geography issues related to sediment fluxes, coastal morphology, climate change impact, coastal zone management.


Aix-Marseille Université (AMU)

  • Prof. Morhange Christophe, Aix-Marseille-University AMU-ALLSH-CEREGE (Centre Européen de Recherche and Teaching of Environmental Geosciences)

Director of studies Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE-SHP-Paris) Chair of archaeosciences and environmental history PSL-AOROC (Archaeology & Philology of the East and West). He is a geomorphologist with interests in coastal geoarchaeology and sea level change. His research tools include bioindicators (rocky and clastic coasts), sedimentology, geoarchaeology and underwater geomorphology. In the Mediterranean, his research focuses on the evolution of many ancient harbours. Using quantitative palaeoecological methods, he has moved from the characterisation to the quantification of human impacts both within and outside ancient harbour basins.

  • Assoc. Prof. Kalliopi Baika, Master of Maritime and Coastal Archaeology (MoMArch) - Scientific Coordination, A*Midex - Académie d'Excellence, Centre Camille-Jullian, CNRS

She specialises in Greek harbour archaeology and coastal geoarchaeology in the Aegean and Mediterranean. Her research has also been on the archaeology of submerged environments and the phenomena of anthropogenic development of the land/sea interface, from protohistoric periods to the present day.

  • Dr. Bivolaru Alexandra (invited speaker), Research Grant Holder, Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Her work focused on geoarchaeology on archaeological sites in the Black Sea and Mediterranean (Venice included), as well as for her interdisciplinary research on the relationship between humans and the surrounding environment since the emergence of agriculture, examining processes of adaptation and resilience of ancient societies in face of environmental changes, and the transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene.


Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

  • Assoc. Prof. Fontijn Karen, Department of Geosciences Environment and Society

She is a physical volcanologist interested in tephrostratigraphic studies of poorly-known volcanoes, in order to constrain past eruptive behaviour. This allows us to assess how the volcano behaves, and changes over time, and which can contribute to volcanic hazard assessment.

  • Ass. Prof. Corentin Caudron, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

His research is intimately associated with monitoring and imaging the Earth via geophysical approaches. He has mostly investigated the dynamics of hydrothermal systems and magmas, as well as the triggering and characterization of volcanic and limnic eruptions.


University of Bucharest (Romania)

  • Assoc. Prof. Tiscovschi Andrian, Faculty of Geology, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology

He is the Director of Department of Meteorology and Hydrology. His main subjects: Characterization of climatic conditions in Southern Dobrogea/ Interconditions between air pollution and the characteristics of the main climatic elements; Assessment of landscape artificialization by means of characteristic indices; Assessment of the vulnerability of the territory in relation to climatic risk phenomena.