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From: Albert Katz International school <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Albert Katz International school <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 9 Mar 1998 21:29:54 +0200

text/plain (62 lines)

The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

The Rational
        The loss of fertile land has aroused global concern, spurring
increased interest in desert studies. The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro brought attention to the danger of desertification, which is
defined as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry-subhumid areas; it
affects some 40% of global lands and nearly one billion people.
Desertification is caused primarily by human activities; the earth's
rapidly growing population is exhausting the fragile resources of dryland
ecosystems. In the wake of the Earth Summit, the UN drew up the Convention
to Combat Desertification - a multinational agreement which calls for an
increase in research and education and the establishment of centers for
information and training as major tools in combating desertification.
        Until recently, 'desert studies' did not exist as an academic
discipline.  This multi-disciplinary field was developed in response to the
realization that desertification is increasing at an alarming rate (some
half million hectares annually, an area the size of the state of Kansas).
Desert studies as a discipline is likely to follow the same growth pattern
as oceanography, which began as a sub-discipline of geography but rapidly
grew into a separate scientific field.

The School
        The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research of Ben-Gurion
University is a world leader in desert studies, widely respected in the
international scientific community for the quality and creativity of its
research and training programs.  In light of its global reputation and the
worldwide need for expertise in the field, BGU and the Blaustein Institute
have established the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies
which offers a two-year M.Sc. program in desert studies.
        The innovative, multi-disciplinary program is structured to provide
an integrated approach, offering students exceptional opportunities to
pursue basic research and track its application in the field.  Each student
will be exposed to a wide range of subjects designed to complement studies
in his or her major area of concentration.
Graduates of the School will supremely qualified to carry out research,
take responsible positions in the management of dryland and to lead the
battle to combat desertification.
        The program offers five fields of specialization:
1.      Agriculture and Biotechnology for Sustainable Dryland Development
2.      Dryland Ecology
3.      Solar Energy and the Physical Environment
4.      Water Resources and Management
5.    Man in the Dryland

 Prof. Avigad Vonshak, Acting Director
 Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies
 Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research
 Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
 Sede Boqer Campus
 Israel 84990
 Tel:    972-7-6596-702
 Fax:    972-7-6596-703
 Email: [log in to unmask];

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