Summer course
"Volcanism, Plate Tectonics, Hydrothermal Vents and Life"
Angra do Heroismo, Azores, Portugal, 23 August - 1 September 2016

Structure of the course
The course "Volcanism, Plate Tectonics, Hydrothermal Vents and Life"" will take place from 23 August to 1 September 2016 on the Terceira campus of the University of the Azores in the picturesque city of Angra do Heroismo (UNESCO World Heritage site). Angra (as it is mostly called) is located on the island of Terceira, the second largest island of the Archipelago of the Azores. Arrival of participants will be on 22 August and departure on 2 September. It aims to give students a thorough introduction in the formation of planetary systems, exoplanet detection and habitability. The summer school will include:

  • Lectures by leading scientists in the field covering a cornucopia of different subjects
  • Field excursions to geologically interesting sights (volcanic areas, hot springs, lava caves, etc.)
  • Exploration of lava caves
  • Characterisation of microbes in lava caves and hot springs via Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Poster sessions
  • Participant-led discussions
A preliminary programme of the summer course can be downloaded as an .xls file here. Please check for updates!

Poster sessions
The poster sessions will be held on Tuesday, 23 August 2016. They are aiming to allow participants to present their work, so even posters a bit remote from the course subjects are welcome. Poster board dimensions will be announced in due course.

Participants will be allowed a 4 minutes presentation for their posters (no discussion). The presentation will take place in the lecture room at Angra Campus. Powerpoint slides can be used. For a smooth run of these poster talks, presenters are asked to bring their talks on a memory stick or CD-ROM.

Participants will have the possibility to visit the Furnas do Enxofre hot springs in Terceira and the lava caves Algar do Carvão and Gruta do Natal. Furthermore, sampling of microbial probes will take place at the Furnas do Enxofre hot springs andd two other lava caves. Excursions to other geologically interesting sites are planned. In addition, we plan a city walk in Angra and a farewell dinner at the rustic restaurant inside the open-air museum Quinta do Martelo.

Participants will perform sampling of microbial colonies in two extreme environments: Hot springs in Terceira and the lava caves. The samples will be analysed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in order to identify microbes present there using genom sequence databases.

Bem-vindos à Terceira !

Lava cave Algar do Carvão Extinct volcano craters Hot springs at Furnas