Welcome to the website of Summer Schools & Expeditions in Kyrgyzstan

We are pleased to invite you to participate in Kyrgyz Summer Schools 2023.
The goals of the summer schools are:
to demonstrate the great diversity of the nature of the Tian Shan mountain system (which is mostly within Kyrgyzstan), from desert to glaciated landscapes;
to explore various undisturbed (by human activity) inter-relationships between abiotic and biotic ecosystem components (soil, vegetation, geological substrate, relief, and climate) in a strongly continental climate, with seasonal frost and sometimes permafrost;
to show the influences of crop cultivation, tillage, pasturing and specific water/river management and the ecological problems caused by these effects;
to discuss the influence of current climate change and its mitigation in relation to the rational use of soil and ecosystems to maintain soil health and achieve sustainable development of human-made ecosystems.
Teaching peculiarities
► The summer schools are guided by leading scientists (specialists in geobotany, geomorphology, geology, and soil science,), who accompany the summer schools throughout their duration. Local experts on specific topics are often invited.
► The summer schools include 17 to 20 key sites where our specialists provide comprehensive information on soil, vegetation, geological substrate, relief and climate.
► Teaching takes place in the form of field seminars at the key sites, as well as in the form of short talks at specific observation sites, and additional discussions and lectures in the evening.

This allows, unlike textbooks, to clearly illustrate the absence of sharp boundaries in nature, smooth transitions between climatic characteristics, plant communities, soil types.
Kyrgyzstan is located in the heart of Central Asia. More than three-quarters of Kyrgyzstan's territory is mountainous. The country's territory lies between 390 m and 7,000 m above sea level, with an average altitude of 2,750 m. Due to the pronounced altitude zonality and climatic peculiarities in different parts of the country, this country has a very high diversity of flora and fauna, ecosystems and landscapes.

In addition to the natural walnut, almond and pistachio forests, the country also has a very diverse land use: agriculture and pastoralism, which, however, is associated with some environmental problems. Among the crops, one can find those common in Europe, such as cereals and corn, to rice, a typical crop in Southeast Asia.

The pearl of Kyrgyzstan is the magnificent Issyk-Kul lake, the seventh deepest lake in the world, located at an altitude of 1608 meters above sea level. It is the second largest high mountain lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America.

We have developed a summer school route and program for you based on numerous sources of scientific literature, communication with many fellow scientists who have studied the territory of Kyrgyzstan for many years, and, of course, on our own experience.

The itineraries of our summer schools are designed to allow you to see with your own eyes, explore and learn about the great diversity of natural and agricultural ecosystems, as well as enjoy the undeniable aesthetic pleasure of landscapes of unearthly beauty.

Although the main focus is on nature, some attention is given during the summer schools to the history and contemporary life of ordinary people in villages and cities, social problems partly caused by environmental problems. All in all, you can immerse yourself in the atmosphere and feel the specific charm of Central Asia.
The organization patterns
► duration is about 21 days from June to August on annual basis;
► transportation (about 2000 km) with excursion buses and a truck for baggage;
► accommodation in tents right nearby rivers or lakes at scenic sites;
► accompanied by a service team (incl. professional cooks) who give us independence
and flexibility from outside facilities.
Students, PhD students, young (and not only) teachers and researchers studying landscape science,
physical geography, ecology, geobotany and botany, soil science, and agriculture
are welcome invited to participate in our summer schools.
NB: Minimum outdoor experience is highly desirable to participate in the summer schools.
The route of the summer school: from a sandy beach of the warm Issyk-Kul Lake in a near-desert environment to the periglacial landscapes at the altitude of 4,000 m above sea level: