Dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets

EISMINT (European Ice Sheet Modelling Initiative) was a program supported by the European Science Foundation from 1993 to 1998; it ran a number of workshops, two major conferences, and two summer schools. I lectured at both of these (1995, 1997)on `Sliding, drainage and basal processes'. The lecture notes (postscript or pdf) can be downloaded.

The first summer school was in Grindelwald, excellent but very hard on my wallet, which functioned by purchasing gallons of drink to pour down students' throats. Here they are, with (I think) the Eiger in the background. I'm not in this picture, as I left the school before the end.

In 1997 the summer school moved to Karthaus and the Goldene Rose, run by Paul Grüner. It takes twelve hours to get there, but it is worth it. The hospitality is frankly stupendous; the food is excellent, so is the drink, the scenery is breathtaking, and in Georg Kaser we were very lucky to have a guide who took us on two hikes up towards the Italian-Austrian border, near where the iceman Ötzi was found. And the school itself was excellent. Despite this, I'm still not in the picture, as I left before the end again.

The 1997 school was the last funded by the ESF, but the director, Hans Oerlemans, was successful in obtaining further funding from a consortium of Universities, and the school became the COACh school*. So in 2000, the third summer school was again held in Karthaus. Again, for the students, an illuminating experience (I hope), and for the lecturers, a privilege to be there. Moved by the occasion, I wrote some doggerel and a song, and then proceeded to perform these on my last night, aided by copious amounts of wine and (later) grappa.

Katharina Schulz (one of the participating students) has built a splendid Karthaus website with lots of pictures, including the group photo here which I finally managed to be in.

In 2002, the team assembled again. I think maybe the song is now a last night tradition, and there was a new doggerel as well.

There was yet another summer school in 2003. This saw the discovery (by the Dutch, who else) of an old sandy 5 a side football pitch. We played three games, fantastic.

*COACh is a research consortium in which participate: the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (Utrecht University), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, the National Institute for Health and Environment (Netherlands), the Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie (Hamburg) and the Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie (Mainz).