Bern, Switzerland

Improving Health at the Interfaces Between Environment, Plants, Animals and Humans

when 26 August 2019 - 30 August 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee CHF 350

A healthy environment, including healthy soils, plants and animals, is essential for human well-being. One Health is an interdisciplinary framework that helps us to understand the processes that shape and connect global health.

The One Health International Bachelor and Master Summer School at the University of Bern offers a unique opportunity to explore the methods and current knowledge on the health of terrestrial food chains, from soils to plants, animals and humans. Students participating in the Summer School will explore the interfaces between the different compartments and learn about the key role of microbes in causing disease and conferring health benefits. Participants will have the possibility to visit multiple state-of-the-art research laboratories working on One Health projects and will have the chance to experience One Health research first hand. In “bridge” lectures, experienced scientists will teach basic knowledge on the topic and highlight the most important developments and challenges in the area of One Health research. Excursions along the terrestrial food chain will provide opportunities to explore connections between plant, animal and human health, whilst enjoying beautiful Switzerland. Through challenge-based learning, students will be able to use their own skills as health detectives to find potential solutions to some of the most pressing problems of the future.

Target group

Bachelor students (national and international) in semesters 4-6 (must have completed their fourth semester by August 2019). They must be at least 18 years of age and be enrolled in a natural sciences Bachelors programme. Likewise, Master students with a background in natural sciences (national and international) must have completed their first year by August 2019.

The number of participants is limited to 24. We aim to have a lively, international and interdisciplinary group of participants with a balanced number of students of both genders from all of the listed disciplines and from different countries.

Course aim

Experience health connections along the food chain in Switzerland
To explore connections between plant, animal and human health, participants will visit different food production systems in Switzerland, ranging from conventional to alternative permaculture. These visits are an excellent opportunity to discover Switzerland and learn about management strategies that promote healthy agroecosystems.

Get first-hand experience in cutting edge interdisciplinary research
The students will have the opportunity to connect with scientists working along the food chain, from soils to plants, to ruminants and humans. World-leading scientists together with their research teams will introduce the students to their work and efforts to promote healthy food chains. Visits will include presentations as well as visits and hands-on experience in different laboratories of the University of Bern.

Challenge yourself.
Develop your own solutions for important one-health challenges
In small teams, the students will be given a challenge that they can work on solving, during the summer school. Each challenge evolves around an interdisciplinary problem, and the teams can use the excursions and lab visits to gather ideas on how to tackle it. Become a one health detective and combine your own knowledge, creativity and team spirit to find creative solutions to some of the most pressing problems of humanity. During the last day of the school, the teams will present their solutions to each other.

Have fun!
The summer school offers many opportunities to explore Switzerland and the city of Bern, to socialize with participants from all over the world and to meet one health scientists in an informal, friendly setting.

Fee info

CHF 350: Early Bird fee: 300 CHF
Regular fee: 350 CHF

Included in the price: Fee for course and course material, excursions, social programme.