CH-QUAT: Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Quartärforschung
The Swiss Society for Quaternary Research (CH-QUAT) is an interface for scientists and professionals from different research and applied fields dealing with the Quaternary period (the last 2.6 Ma of Earth History), in particular the aspects concerning human, environment and climate. At our annual meetings and excursions, we offer a platform to promote an exchange of knowledge, ideas and contacts between students, scientists, professionals from both governmental institutions and private companies and greater public. In winter 2017, the annual meeting took place at the Centre d'hydrogéologie et de géothermie (CHYN) at the University of Neuchâtel and focused on interdisciplinary issues with the theme "Quaternary topics in the Jura Mountains and the Seeland region". In summer 2017, our three-day excursion took us then to the Findelen Glacier and its forefield in the Valais. During the year, we supported students and early stage researches (ESR) in their research fields to present their results at different conferences and encouraged them to contribute to the CH-QUAT session at the 15th Swiss Geoscience Meeting in Davos.
1. The annual meeting and general assembly of CH-QUAT took place on Saturday 01.04.2017, at the Centre d'hydrogéologie et de géothermie (CHYN) at the University of Neuchâtel focussing on interdisciplinary issues with the theme "Quaternary topics in the Jura Mountains and the Seeland region". The program featured a series of invited speakers presenting the manifold aspects of the Quaternary in this region - providing an overview on ongoing research in glacial geology, Quaternary-karst interactions, archaeology and hydrogeology. In addition, students (BSc/MSc/PhD) and young scientists presented their ongoing research in a poster session.
2. At the 15th Swiss Geoscience Meeting 2017 in Davos on November 18th, CH-QUAT had an open session with the topic "Quaternary environments: landscapes, climate, ecosystems, human activity during the past 2.6 million years". A total of 6 talks were given and 18 posters were presented during this session.
The CH-QUAT has a substantial number of members from abroad and is strongly networking on an international level. We maintained contact with partner organisations in neighbouring countries by supporting, participating and co-organising different international events. Main activities, where board members and members also participated, was the excursion of the "Association Française pour l'Étude du Quaternaire (AFEQ)" from 17. - 19. Mai 2017, with the topic "Le Quaternaire du Rhin supérieur France, Allemagne et Suisse" and the "9th International Geochronology Summer School" in Klosters Dorf from 3. - 8. September 2017 organized by the University of Zürich and the Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt Wald, Schnee und Landschaft (WSL). In addition, the session organized by CH-QUAT at the Swiss Geosciences Meeting, which is regularly attended by many international participants, promoted further international exchange and networking possibilities.
In 2017, nine students were financially supported by CH-QUAT for their fieldwork and their active participation at different conferences. The balanced number of women and men we could support is satisfying. For more detail about their ongoing work, please consult our homepage.
European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna from the 23.- 28. April 2017:
5th Open Science Meeting of PAGES, Past Global Changes, in Zaragoza (Spain) from the 9. - 13. May 2017:
CH-QUAT regularly informs its members about current events such as meetings, excursions, events from other associations or projects relative to national and international Quaternary research. It also provides a platform for the electronic exchange of information and coordinates external requests. In addition, the current and future events are continuously uploaded to our homepage on the SCNAT- portal.
In order to bring science closer to the general public, CH-QUAT has supported the following events:
"Ice Age Panorama: Leben in der Schweiz vor 15 000 Jahren". Two members of CH-QUAT (Denise Leesch and Werner Müller) realise this project which is supported by the SNF (Agora). The aim of this project is to bring the life of the former people of the Magdalenian during the end of the Ice Age closer to the public. The travelling exposition will be shown in various large commercial malls in different cities in Switzerland. CH-QUAT supports the publication of an accompanying booklet of the exposition.
"Géologie Vivante" organized in 2017 a conference called "Geo -- Tourisme", that CH-QUAT supported. The aim was to promote geology and tourism as well as to create sustainable touristic offers on the basis of geo-heritage.
With our annual excursions, which are also open to a broad public, we try to bring the Quaternary closer to the people. This year the field trip brought us to the Findelen glacier in the mountain of Valais, where we had a great introduction on the former formation of the moraine deposits, landslides, glacier advances and retreats as well as on climatic changes. A total of 15 participants took part at the excursion organised from 18th to 20th of August 2017.