About Us

Organizing Committee

The Department of Biological Applications and Technology (University of Ioannina, Greece) is the general coordinator of the Summer School in Conservation Biology.

The organizing committee consists of the following:

  • Dr Athanasios S Kallimanis, University of Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • Dr John M Halley, University of Ioannina (Greece)
  • Dr Gabor L Lovei, Aarhus Universitet (Denmark)
  • Dr Alessandro Chiarucci, University of Bologna (Italy)
  • Dr Martin Wiemers, Helmholtz Centre – UFZ (Germany)
  • Dr Zoltan Elek, MTA-ELTE-MTM (Hungary)

Contact Information

For applicants: 
Athanasios Kallimanis, PhD
E-mail: kalliman@bio.auth.gr
Tel: +30 2310-998255

For participants:
Please contact first Dr. Thanasis Kallimanis

For further communication Prof. John Halley
E-mail: jhalley@cc.uoi.gr

 

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Short History

The Greek Summer Schools in Conservation Biology were initiated by the Education Committee of SCB-Europe and the first Greek Summer School hosted its international class in 2008 at Papigo Village in the Vikos-Aoos National Park. Since then the GSS has been intensively training and educating students through a suite of biodiversity sampling field sessions and lectures and labs. From 2008, the GSS has inspired over 100 students to discover the challenging world of conservation biology. After a break in 2013, the GSS moved to PALASE field station of the University of Ioannina at Ano Pedina in 2014. The duration of the school is usually 12 days in late June to early July and is held under the aegis of SCB-Europe (Society for Conservation Biology) and of HELECOS (the Hellenic Ecological Society). The summer school has always enjoyed the strong support of its main host institution: the University of Ioannina.

more details below…

The rise of GSS: 2008-2009

The first Greek Summer School was an initiative of the Education Committee (EC) of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB-Europe), co-organized with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management of the University of Ioannina (Greece) , and the Center of Biological and Cultural Diversity (local NGO) . Dr. Renato Massa (University of Milano, Italy), the first chair of EC, had the initial idea of organizing a summer school on conservation biology for young scientists from all over Europe, in order to inspire them to discover the attractive and challenging world of conservation biology. The idea was unanimously voted with great enthusiasm by EC, but it could not be realized then due to lack of funds. The second chair of EC, Dr. Vassiliki Kati gave a great effort to overcome all problems and successfully organized the first SCB-GSS. Our dream became true! The first GSS was held in August 2008, under the title “Introduction to Conservation Biology”. It was hosted in Papingo, a traditional village in the core area of the Vikos-Aoos national park, the ideal place for such an event, as it is located in one of the most beautiful wilderness areas of mountainous Greece.

The main sponsor that trusted our initiative and helped us to realize it was the Hellenic Ministry of Environment. The global Society for Conservation Biology also offered to the selected students a grant of an annual membership to the Society and a subscription to Conservation Biology, a leading scientific journal in the field of conservation science. Furthermore, local authorities including the Prefecture of Ioannina and the Municipality of Zagori generously offered traditional lunches to the team. The Center of Biological and Cultural Diversity, an NGO located in Papingo supported the event, by hosting it in its website and by providing field equipment. Students had to contribute only their travel expenses and meals, a small amount for a great experience.

Many people worked for the event. All scientists involved were members of SCB-Europe, participating on volunteer basis, in order to educate young people as conservation biologists. The event was advertised through the national focal points of the SCB-Europe, conservation websites and the SCB newsletter.

A nice group of 15 selected students from 10 European countries formed the first enthusiastic team of conservation biologists, gaining international experience, learning and having a wonderful time (photo gallery 2008 ). After the great success of the event, the Education Committee decided to organize it for a second year (2009). Funded and supported by the same sponsors, the second SCB-GSS was held again in Papingo in October 2009. More people from all over Greece supported the group, holding lectures and field sessions. This second year as well, a nice group of 15 students from 10 countries attended the event, reporting a great success of the second GSS and sharing an experience of lifetime.

The GSS as an Erasmus Intensive Programme: 2010-2012

But fundraising is difficult… especially in times of financial crisis. The Education Committee decided that the school should secure more permanent funding. Therefore, Dr. V. Kati, Chair of the Education Committee, successfully applied and gained a three – year grant from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) to hold an Erasmus Intensive Programme of two weeks for 15 students. A new consortium of professors was created, involving Universities from Italy, Germany, UK and Denmark. The Greek summer school was held for three successive years as an Erasmus IP, a joint academic activity of five European Universities. Unfortunately, only students from participating Universities could apply for a position, but the European Section of the Society of Conservation biology offered a small student grant for three more students from all over Europe to attend the event, in order to increase its international character. The school was fully funded by the Greek State Scolarship Foundation IKY, and students had to cover a small proportion of their travel expenses as well as their meals. The GSS has been well-established as a high-quality international event, well-known among conservation-oriented students all over Europe. It became a nursery of young conservation scientists, promoting knowledge transfer, conservation science, experience sharing, but also strong international friendships and potential synergies among young scientists for the future.

The new era: GSS 2014 –

After five years of successfully running the GSS, Vassiliki Kati passed the baton of the event to John Halley, of the University of Ioannina who ran the GSS for 2014 and 2015. The new Chair of the GSS is Thanasis Kallimanis of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. With the aim of equipping participants with an understanding of the principles of modern biodiversity theory, the GSS since 2014 is held under the title “Biodiversity Theory and Practice” and has been held in Ano Pedina, in the PALASE field station of the University of Ioannina and invites all enthusiastic young scientists to apply for the event. Join us!

About the Society of Conservation Biology (SCB)

The Education Committee of SCB-Europe gave birth to the GSS and is happy to see it growing and offering knowledge and pleasure to European students. The SCB is a global scientific organization of over 10 000 members. The society’s membership comprises a wide range of professionals interested in nature conservation and the study of biological diversity: scientists, resource managers, educators, government and private conservation workers, and students. If you think that nature conservation is the top priority for our society and that scientific evidence is needed for the conservation of biodiversity, visit the link, or the wikispace of SCB-students, a recent activity involving of course several ex-GSS students.

About HELECOS

Since 2014 GSS operates under the aegis of HELECOS, the Hellenic Ecological Society. HELECOS aims at communicating the approaches, methods and advances of the science of Ecology in Greece. Established in 2004, it links together scientists, students and the public, providing information on upcoming activities in the country and abroad including conferences, workshops, summer schools and similar events, and also on job opportunities, mainly in Greece, in ecological research, conservation and other related areas. Every two years, it organizes a conference, where the research groups of the country meet and present results of their research. Scientists from Greece and abroad are invited speakers in these events.

Sponsors

The Greek Summer Schools have only been able to operate by the generous support from its sponsors. Click below for a full presentation.

6th Greek Summer School - 2014

We thank the Bodossaki Foundation for sponsoring GSS-2014. The Bodossaki Foundation’s grant supported for six students at the lower rate of 200€. Thanks to SCB and HELECOS for organizational assistance and publicity. Thanks to the citizen’s group of Ano Pedina and the Labriadeio Foundation for logistic help.”

5th Greek Summer School - 2012

The 5th Greek Summer School was funded by the State Scholarship Foundation – IKY, as an Erasmus Intensive Programme (Erasmus IP)

Furthermore, we are grateful to the following contributors:

  • The Society for Conservation Biology for offering an annual grant to students, annual membership and access to Conservation Biology.
  • The traditional settlement “tospitimas” in Papingo, providing the conference room.
  • The traditional settlement “Rupicapra villas” in Papingo, hosting our students at low prices.
  • The Municipality of Zagori for offering a traditional lunch.
  • The Center of Biological and Cultural Diversity (CBCD) for support and website hosting.
4th Greek Summer School - 2011

The 4th Greek Summer School was funded by the State Scholarship Foundation  – IKY, as an Erasmus Intensive Programme (Erasmus IP)

Furthermore, we are grateful to the following contributors:

  • The Society for Conservation Biology for offering an annual grant to students, annual membership and access to Conservation Biology.
  • The traditional settlement “tospitimas” in Papingo, providing the conference room.
  • The traditional settlement “Rupicapra villas” in Papingo, hosting our students at low prices.
  • The Region of Epirus for offering a lunch.
  • The Municipality of  Zagori for offering a traditional lunch in Monodentri village.
  • The Center of Biological and Cultural Diversity (CBCD) for support and website hosting
3rd Greek Summer School - 2010

The  3rd Greek Summer School was funded by the State Scholarship Foundation  – IKY, as an Erasmus Intensive Programme (Erasmus IP).

Furthermore, we are grateful to the following contributors:

  • The Society for Conservation Biology for offering an annual grant to students, annual membership and access to Conservation Biology.
  • The traditional settlement “tospitimas” in Papingo, providing the conference room.
  • The traditional settlement “Rupicapra villas” in Papingo, hosting our students at low prices.
  • The Prefecture of Ioannina for offering a lunch.
  • The Municipality of Central Zagori for offering a traditional lunch in Monodentri village.
  • The Center of Biological and Cultural Diversity (CBCD) for support and website hosting.
2nd Greek Summer School - 2009

We are grateful to the following sponsors and contributors:

  • The Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, as the main donor supporting the Greek Summer School.
  • The Prefecture of Ioannina for offering a lunch with traditional specialties in Papingo.
  • The Mayor and the Municipality of Central Zagori for offering a traditional lunch in Monodentri village.
  • The Members of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB-Europe) volunteering to teach.
  • The scientists from the University of Ioannina, and the Center of Biological & Cultural Diversity volunteering to hold the field sessions.
  • The Laboratory of Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation (Dep. of Environmental & Natural Resources Management of University of Ioannina) and the Center of Biological & Cultural Diversity for providing equipment and web site hosting.
1st Greek Summer School - 2008

We are grateful to the following sponsors and contributors:

  • The Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works, as the main donor supporting the Greek Summer School.
  • The Prefecture of Ioannina for offering a lunch with traditional specialties in Papingo.
  • The Mayor and the Municipality of Central Zagori for offering a traditional lunch in Monodentri village.
  • The Members of the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB-Europe) volunteering to teach.
  • The scientists from the University of Ioannina, and the Center of Biological & Cultural Diversity volunteering to hold the field sessions.
  • The Laboratory of Ecology & Biodiversity Conservation (Dep. of Environmental & Natural Resources Management of University of Ioannina) and the Center of Biological & Cultural Diversity for providing equipment and web site hosting.
  • The traditional settlement “Pantheon” in Papingo, providing the conference room.
© photo Northern Pindos National Park
© photo Northern Pindos National Park
© photo Northern Pindos National Park
© photo Northern Pindos National Park
© photo Northern Pindos National Park
© photo Northern Pindos National Park