Young Earth scientists from all over the world are gathering this August in ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth observation, in Frascati, near Rome, Italy, for the fifth ESA Earth Observation Summer School.

Seventy-four students – mainly PhD students and young post-doctoral scientists – were selected out of 243 applications, based on their educational qualifications and motivation. From 2 to 13 August, they will receive an integrated end-to-end perspective on Earth observation from space, with subjects ranging from remote sensing principles to their application. The programme includes lectures covering issues related to remote sensing, Earth system modelling and data assimilation, and practical computing exercises on the processing of Earth observation data given by specialists on computer-based learning.

After the practical sessions, the students have the opportunity to present their own work to the other participants in daily poster sessions. The three best posters, selected by the students, will receive an award from the European Meteorological Society.

In the course of the programme, several keynote lectures on global change issues are being given by world-renowned scientists and policy makers. Lecturers and students have the opportunity to discuss the current state of global change science and its relationship to society. This helps students appreciate how their specific field fits into a broader scientific and political context.

All lecturers and students are hosted in the same hotel, a former cardinal’s residence, built on the ruins of the ancient summer home of Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero, on the hills overlooking Frascati and Rome. This gives further opportunities and inspiration to exchange views and experience and create a useful network of contacts for the students’ future professional careers.

The closing session of the Summer School, including the award for the best posters, will take place on Friday, 13 August, from 12:30 to 13:00. This will be transmitted live as a streaming Internet video service, which will be accessible from the ESRIN website.