Urbino 2016: Caves and Cioppino conference

It’s already the second week for the 2016 Urbino Summer School for Paleoclimatology. NESSC-researcher Shaun Akse blogs:

Urbino 2016 Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale in Urbino (photo: Shaun Akse)

At day twelve of the Urbino Summer School we are already nearing the end! During the classes we have moved away from the introductory courses and have delved further into the different fields of proxy development, astrochronology and geochemical cycling.

We also enjoyed our first free day and many students made use of the occasion to leave Urbino and check out the surroundings. Some students opted to visit the historical microstate of San Marino, while others stayed closer to the earth sciences by visiting the stunning Grotte di Frasassi – or just spend a day at the beach.

This week’s highlight surely was the Cioppino conference. During this conference the attending lecturers presented some of their newest and most exciting research. Partly this is done to show the students that even the researchers still run into many of the same issues which a PhD student faces.

Also the Montefeltro medal, named after the Duke of Urbino, is awarded during the conference. This year, paleoclimatologist Thomas Cronin at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) received the prize. Cronin also held a keynote lecture at the conference.

It is an odd thought that we only have a few days of lectures left. After two weeks at Urbino, most of us have really settled in. We know the streets, our favourite place for gelato and by now, the local pub knows exactly what kind of drink we want. This strong feeling of homeliness is definitely one of USSP’s greatest strengths.

Grotte di Frasassi (photo: André Jüling)