Summer school
"Impacts and their Role in the Evolution of Life"
Saaremaa,Estonia, 25 July - 3 August 2017

Structure of the course

The course "Impacts and their Role in the Evolution of Life" will take place from 25 July - 3 August 2017 at Kuressaare and the Kaali impact crater site on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia. It aims to give students a thorough introductions in the role of meteorite and comets impacts in the formation of Earth, its atmosphere and the evolution of life evolution of life. The course consists of lectures, pratical exercises and student-led discussions. Participants will also have the possibility to display their own research results in two poster sessions. The following subjects will be covered by the lectures:

  • Roles of impacts in the formation of habitable planets
  • Physical and chemical properties of comets and meteorites
  • Detection and investigation of impact craters by geological methods and remote sensing from space
  • Ecological consequences of impacts and the role of impacts in mass extinctions
  • Transfer of life through meteorite impacts


The following lecturers will give presentations at the summer course:

Alexis Brandeker, Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre, Sweden
Bethany Ehlmann, Caltech, USA
Ludovic Ferrière, Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria
Henning Haack, Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, USA
Martin Hilchenbach, Max Planck Institute for Solar system Research, Germany
Argo Jõeleht, University of Tartu, Estonia
Kalle Kirsimäe, University of Tartu, Estonia
Anna Łosiak, Polish Academy of Sciences
Zita Martins, Imperial College, UK
Karen Meech, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA
Jüri Plado, University of Tartu, Estonia
Kai Wünnemann, Museum of Natural History, Berlin Germany
Wolf Geppert, Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre, Sweden

Practical exercises

The lecture programme will be complemented by practical exercises concerning:

  • Electromagnetic mapping of impact sites
  • Analysis of pollen indicators of the Kaali impact event.
  • Microscopy of impactites
  • Georadar profiling at Kaali

These practical exercises will take place at the Kaali crater site, with the Kaali school functioning as a field site.

Preliminary programme

A preliminary programme of the summer course can be downloaded here as an .xls file here.

Poster sessions

The poster sessions will be held on Tuesday, 25 and Wednesday 26 August 2017. Poster boards are white and have a height of 2 metres and a width of 1 mtre. DIN A0 in portrait format will thus be OK.

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


Excursions to geologically interesting sites like the Panga cliffs and/or the Vilsandi National Park will be carried out. Also cultural sights with connection to the Kaali impact will be visited.

Tere tulemast Eestisse!