Newsletter 2016 - 03

Newsletter 2016: 03

September 2016. Poster presentation of the ILHAM-EC project at the International Conference XLV of the Italian Society of Agronomists, Sassari, September 20-22nd 2016. 

Prof. Luciano Gutierrez, Ms. Alessandra Paulotto and Ms. Ileana Iocola, presented ILHAM-EC at the XLV National Conference of the “Società Italiana di Agronomia” entitled “La ricerca agronomica verso il 2030: gli obiettivi globali di sviluppo sostenibile”. 
Link to the poster 

September 2016. Poster presentation of the ILHAM-EC project at the event "Night of the Researchers" organized by the University of Sassari, Sassari, September 30th 2016. 

During the 2016 European Researchers’ Night (a project funded by the European Commission under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions - Grant Agreement No. 722952), the NRD team presented a poster in order to show the ILHAM-EC project. 

October 2016. Meeting at Alexandria University to discuss Master Structure on SLM

The meeting, held in Alexandria University on October 5th, 2016, was organized in order to discuss extensively the Master Curriculum draft proposed by Prof. Gutierrez and the EU partners. Each Egyptian University presented its views on the draft and suggested a number of modifications and additions. The four Universities emphasized as follows:

- The proposed Master must have a broader scope to target land management in general. 

- The new Master should be designed to be student-oriented, based on new innovative learning methods and adjusted to the Bologna process requirements. 

Modifications were suggested notably from the teams of Cairo and Alexandria. 

The four Universities autonomously discussed the Master Location, modules, and Master administrative issues, showing their different approaches on it and trying to find common solutions for the different needs and proposals. Attendants felt that the Inter-University postgraduate approach can be achieved through the collaboration among partners in several of the project activities such as curricula development, Master accreditation, exchange of professors as required for online teaching courses, provision of technical support as needed, joint supervision on thesis researches; monitoring and evaluation, and ensuring uniformity of the high quality Master across the four Universities.

The last point of the Meeting was the discussion related to the accreditation procedures of the new Master. It was emphasized that this issue is considered an important milestone of the ILHAM-EC project. Attendants were quite certain that there should be no problem in  ensuring the accreditation of the new Master before the beginning of the next academic year in September 2017.

October 2016 – December 2016. A thematic Department seminar coordinated by Prof. Mohamed Bahnassy on Sustainable Land Management theme. 18 graduate students presented different issues on SLM for 9 weeks.

During the first semester 2016-2017, at the University of Alexandria, a seminar course (code 14601) was totally provided to graduate students in order to discuss the SLM topics included in the ILHAM EC project as well. The seminar was attended by 18 Masters and PhD students who registered to the course. Before starting the seminar, Prof. Bahnassy presented the seminar at the Alexandria University department of Soil and Water Science, on October 11th , 2016, highlighting the ILHAM-EC project goals and structure. 

The theme of the seminar (SLM) was suggested by Prof. Mohamed Bahnassy, and 18 different research and review articles were distributed to the graduate students. The students read, understood, and prepared a PowerPoint presentation, which was reviewed by the course coordinator (Prof. Bahnassy), and then showed to the audience (department staff and graduate students). A discussion followed. Some of the topics included:

i. The significance of soils and soil science towards realization of the United Nations Sustainable development Goals

ii. Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Practices in Drylands: How Do They Address Desertification Threats?

iii. Water Quality: An Indicator for Sustainable Land Management

iv. Integrating legacy soil phosphorus into sustainable nutrient management strategies for future food, bioenergy and water security

v. Long-term tillage impacts on soil organic matter components and related properties on a Typic Argiudoll

vi. Determinants of integrated soil fertility management technologies adoption by smallholder farmers in the Chinyanja Triangle of Southern Africa

vii. Validation of the soil Biological Fertility Index (BFI) using a multidimensional statistical approach: A country-scale exercise

viii. The positive relationship between soil quality and crop production:  A case study on the effect of farm compost application

ix. Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability

x. Reorienting land degradation towards sustainable land management

xi. Land use impact on chemical and spectroscopical characteristics of soil organic matter in an arid ecosystem

xii. Effects of land use and land cover on selected soil quality indicators in the headwater area of the Blue Nile basin of Ethiopia.