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The Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies and The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) was established over 30 years ago as Israel's national focus for desert research. Today the BIDR is an internationally recognized research and teaching facility, consisting of three institutes, each addressing different aspects of drylands research. The 75 scientists and 200 Israeli and foreign graduate students at the Institutes conduct research into issues of regional and global relevance to dryland development, in the spirit of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which Israel signed in 1994.

In recognition of its potential to assist European scientists interested in Drylands research, the European Union has granted the Institutes the status of a Transnational Access Facility.

The Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies

The Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies (AKIS) is the educational organ of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR). The courses are taught by researchers from the BIDR, other faculties at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and, occasionally, by leading scholars from the international community. The School offers both short-term training and graduate studies. The short-term training is in the form of intensive courses of a few weeks' duration, focusing on specific topics. The graduate studies are either at the Ph.D. level within the framework of the University's Kreitman School of Advanced Studies, or in a two-year study program that leads to an M.A. or M.Sc. degree in Desert Studies.

The innovative, multidisciplinary program is structured to provide an integrated approach, offering students opportunities to pursue a combination of basic and applied research.

The curriculum includes:

  • Enrichment courses in areas of desert research outside the student's specialization
  • Advanced specialization-specific courses
  • Research thesis

    Graduates are qualified to carry out research and continue their studies towards higher degrees, or take positions of responsibility in the management of drylands, and to lead the battle against desertification.

    Specializations

    1. Agriculture and Biotechnology for Sustainable Dryland Development Dryland Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Algal Biotechnology, Desert Plant Biotechnology, Aquaculture.

    2. Water Sciences and TechnologiesWater Resources Management, Water Treatment, Water Desalination.

    3. Environmental and Aquatic MicrobiologyEcology, Evolution, Physiology and Biodiversity of Microorganisms, Role of Microorganisms in Nutrient Cycling, Biodegradation of Environmental Pollutants, Microbial Activities.

    4. Solar Energy and Environmental PhysicsMeteorology, Remote Sensing, Solar Energy, Water Desalination, Physical Aspects of the Environment.

    5. Ecology of Drylands Nature Conservation, Ecophysiology, Introduction of Desert Plants, Biodiversity, Population Ecology

    6. Man in Drylands Socio-Economics of Pastoral and Farming Livelihoods, Disaster Management in Drylands, Urban and Regional Planning & Human Habitat Design in Drylands.

    7. Drylands Environmental Studies Environmental Education, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Environmental Issues, Enforcement of Environmental Regulations.

    Graduates are qualified to carry out research and continue their studies towards higher degrees, or to take positions of responsibility in the management of drylands and the battle against desertification

    Who Is Eligible?

    For admission to the AKIS Master's program, applicants must hold an academic degree. For most spe-cializations, a B.Sc. degree in Science or Engineering is required, except for Man in the Drylands, where a B.A. in social sciences or humanities, or an academic/professional degree in architecture is required, and for Drylands Environmental Studies, where either a B.Sc. or B.A. degree is required.

    Admittance to Ph.D. program follows the bylaws of the University's Kreitman School of Advanced Studies (Please refer to: http://www.bgu.ac.il/kreitman_school/).

    Proficiency in English (successfully passing the TOEFL) is mandatory.

    Students may apply for admission in the fall or spring semesters.

    An additional $400-500 per month should cover local living expenses.

    A limited number of scholarships are available to outstanding students.

    Location

    AKIS is located on the Sede Boqer campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The campus is set within the arid Negev Highland region, some 50 km south of the city of Beer-Sheva. The School's research and teaching facilities are all located on the Sede Boqer campus. Some fieldwork is done in research stations situated in various parts of the Negev. The Negev Desert thus serves as both our home and our laboratory.

    Provision is made in the student dormitories for both single and married couples. The modern dormitories were designed according to the principles of climate conscious architecture and students' needs.

    Further InformationFor more detailed description of the program, please visit our home page at http://cmsprod.bgu.ac.il/Eng/Units/bidr/AKIS.htm

    Or contact us:Ben-Gurion University of the NegevSede-Boqer Campus, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel 84990Tel: +972-8-6596733, Fax: +972-8-6596985E-mail: dschool@bgu.ac.il