MSc track Environmental Management

February 27, 2023

The “Environmental Management” track of the University of Amsterdam MSc Earth Sciences program is the more applied sister to the Earth System Science track. The Environmental Science track is focused on the solutions to societal challenges that can be gained from the Earth sciences. Drawing on linkages with social sciences you will gain a broad interdisciplinary training covering topics including: urban-ecological development, human-wildlife conflicts, and the climate crisis. During the degree you will work with researcher within the interdisciplinary Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), carry out an independent research project, and an internship at a societal facing organisation.

  • Energy and Climate Change: Investigate the relationship between climate change and energy systems, and confront the challenges of creating a decarbonised world.
  • GIS and Remote Sensing in Ecosystem Dynamics: Learn how to use large remotely sensed datasets to gain insights into geological, geomorphological and soil systems.
  • Integrated Coastal Dune Management: Explore the concept of “Resilience Thinking” in tacking the complex management task of protecting the Dutch coastline and its ecosystems.
  • Metropol Ecology: Focused on the part of the Earth system where people are, investigate biodiversity and ecosystems in urban systems and mega cities.
  • Science Based Geo-ecological Management: How can science guide environmental management, address key challenges of supporting society, includes field visit to Oostvardersplassen.
  • System Innovation and Transition Management: Climate, energy and agricultural systems are all changing discover how understanding their dynamics is important for governance and sustainability.
  • Click here for further details and a full list of courses.
Environmental management of high Andean ecosystems. During the field school in Peru MSc Earth Science students work with locals and NGOs to improve practices (click here to find out more)

The Environmental Management track can be taken in conjunction with the “Science for Sustainability” minor offered by the Faculty of Science, or other free elective courses to broaden your program.

During the course you will do an internship to get direct experience of working outside academia. Organisations hosting internships in recent years have included:

MSc track Earth System Science

February 17, 2023

At the University of Amsterdam the MSc Earth Science is split into two tracks, one of these is entitled: “Earth System Science”. Earth System Science is a research intensive track focused on understanding the fundamentals of abiotic and biotic interactions across the globe and through time. During this degree you will spend around 6 months studying to pick up specialist knowledge and skills, and around 18 months actively developing yourself – in your key areas of interest – through project work.

The taught part of the Earth System Science track includes courses such as:

  • The Earth System: Learn how to analyse Earth system function across space and through time.
  • Analysis & Modelling Lab: Develop skills in data handeling, analysis and modeling relevant to Earth science.
  • Biogeochemical Cycles in the Earth System: Study how the dynamics of carbon and nitrogen link to societal challenges.
  • Climate Change: Explore the scientific basis for climate change an its implications for the environment and society.
  • Environments Through Time: Consider and analyse environmental change on timescale relevant to landscapes, societies and climates.
  • GIS and Remote Sensing in Ecosystem Dynamics: Learn how to use large remotely sensed datasets to gain insights into geological, geomorphological and soil systems.
  • Click here for further details and a full list of courses.
Clare Lee (on one leg, left) during field course in Peru successfully published her literature review which she conducted as part of her MSc in Earth Sciences at the University of Amsterdam.

In addition, free elective courses are possible from across the University of Amsterdam, or at other approved organizations or universities, i.e. it is possible to pick up skills in other specialisms (for example in languages, AI, or programming), or study a course at a university abroad, and have this included within your University of Amsterdam MSc Earth Science degree.

The project part of the Earth System Science track includes two research projects, or one research project and one internship with an external organization (such as a company or NGO). MSc research projects are often closely linked to active research within the Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics. Some projects and literature reviews conducted by our MSc researchers reach a high enough level to be published in international scientific journals, either on there own or as part of a wider collaboration. Examples of recent papers including MSc researchers (highlighted in bold) are:

  • Lee, C.M., van Geel, B. & Gosling, W.D. (2022) On the use of spores of coprophilous fungi preserved in sediments to indicate past herbivore presence. Quaternary 5, 30. DOI: 10.3390/quat5030030
  • de Nijs, E.A. & Cammeraat, E.L. (2020) The stability and fate of Soil Organic Carbon during the transport phase of soil erosion. Earth-Science Reviews 201, 103067. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.103067

European Conference of Tropical Ecology 2016

February 26, 2016


European Conference of Tropical Ecology
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
23-26 February 2016

This is my first time attending the European Conference of Tropical Ecology and my second visit to Germany. The conference attracted c. 350 delegates; big enough to have plenty of interesting science, and yet small enough to find everyone you wanted to. The keynote speakers chosen to head the days provided some exciting insights into various new developments across the tropics, including: the importance of biogeography (Richard Corlett), metabolism and carbon cycles (Yadvinder Malhi), diversity and resilience (Lourens Poorter), tropical peatlands (Sue Page), agricultural landscapes (Ravi Prabhu), and mutualism of figs and fig wasps (Martine Hossaert-McKay).

From the many other interesting talks five in particular grabbed my attention, these were:

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