Integrated European
Long-Term Ecosystem, critical zone and
socio-ecological Research

Review on the 1st OZCAR Summer School

28 September 2021

Considered as a major milestone in the development of the French national research infrastructure on Critical Zone "OZCAR", The 1st OZCAR summer school supported by CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and IRD (French National Institute for Research Development) took place from 11 to 16 July, 2021 at the Séolane centre, located in Barcelonnette, in the Southern Alps.

The school gathered nearly 60 people, 20 speakers and 40 participants with diversity in terms of disciplines, age, gender as well as provenance. An African delegation in particular participated to the summer school. Among the “teachers” were scientists ranging from fundamental physics to socio-ecology, offering to the participant a large overview of the disciplines needed to be interrogated to solve the wicked problems of the Anthropocene.

The main objective of this first summer school (“critical zone for dummies”!) was to provide a state of art of the disciplinary knowledges and essential tools (hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry, microbial ecology, reactive transport, hydro-meteorology, geology, ecology, soil science, geomorphology, remote sensing, socio-ecology, etc.) constituting the body of critical zone science. The challenge is to train a new generation of scientists able to tackle the scientific issues of the critical zone in an interdisciplinary view. This means keeping and developing the expertise of each discipline but also develop bridges between them, starting by a common vocabulary.

With the active participation of members of Réseau des Zones Atelier socio-ecological infrastructure, this event has contributed to strengthen the eLTER France community (Critical Zone OZCAR - and Zones Ateliers (ZA) -, French mirror of the European eLTER research infrastructure (European Long Term Ecosystem Research -

The participants have underlined the richness, the pedagogical quality of the presentations, as well as the added - value of practical sessions and field trips, fostering a better integration of the knowledge. Also, it was an opportunity to exchange ideas and enable collective mind thinking between scientists from different disciplines. A mountain hike and the visit of an instrumented landslides allowed participants to share their “vision” of the landscape.

Hiking at the Lauzanier valley: an opportunity to have a lecture of the landscape with an interdisciplinary view.