Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced the creation of Israel's first School of Sustainability and Climate Change today.
"The School of Sustainability and Climate Change is based on five decades of accumulated knowledge, experience and scientific research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev," President Prof. Chamovitz wrote in a letter to the University community, "It is a natural step for the University, acknowledged globally for its environmental, energy and sustainability research, to harness that research in service to humankind's greatest challenges. We will be investing additional resources and recruiting partners to generate the next generation of climate and environmental solutions."
Volunteers from Ben-Gurion University, including President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz (foreground), cleaned up tar from the Nitzanim beach recently after the catastrophic oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel
The University is uniquely suited to creating such a School because of its vast research experience, its desert location, and its problem-oriented approach.
"Climate change is this generation's great challenge. What was once a local problem has transformed into a global crisis. We need experts to collaborate and think outside the box to turn local approaches into global solutions," Prof. Chamovitz says, "Large scale desalination and drip irrigation, climate-adapted agriculture, and advanced energy technologies emerged out of necessity here in the Negev.
"Survival in the desert has always been predicated on human ingenuity, and, given the challenges facing the world, we are committed to sharing our knowledge through the creation of the School of Sustainability and Climate Change at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev."
Ben-Gurion University scientists have tackled challenges such as lack of fresh water, food security, sustainable agriculture, and advanced heating and cooling systems, to name just a few. Their experience will be made available to students through the new School, with a focus on topics such as renewable natural resources, environmental and sustainability policy, and management. The multidisciplinary approach will strengthen research being carried out in fields like water, food security, clean energy, environmental engineering, public health, smart cities, and social justice.
The School will offer a number of tracks for undergraduate and graduate students from Israel and abroad and will prepare them for the increasing variety of jobs that deal with aspects of this crisis. The mission is to provide them with a wide range of tools to develop practical and sustainable solutions in the framework of international research.
School of Sustainability and Climate Change Steering Committee member, Prof. Yaron Ziv, "Researchers have a critical role to play in tackling climate change. Our School offers an innovative approach: Synergy among all the researchers in the field. Researchers and students will take advantage of this creative dynamic to make unique contributions, such that the sum will be greater than its parts. We will offer attractive dual-department degrees and we are already working on creating collaborations with industry, the government, and international organizations."
School of Sustainability and Climate Change booklet »