WIN! Water Innovations
Policy, Management, Research
Tartu and West-Estonia
August 11-25, 2019

Agenda (PDF)

The WIN! summer school will be a vibrant mixture of interactive sessions, field trips, and group work in a unique setting, designed to give participants hands-on project and research experience with a range of water, wetland and littoral ecosystems and their sustainable use, and with a focus on novel and innovative approaches and methodologies. After an introductory day with an overall overview of water sustainability challenges and the state of art in water science, policy and management, the students will follow one of the selective blocks (the choice will be placed before the start of the summer school) – (1) Wetland Science or (2) Science, management and policy of rivers and floodplains, then two non-selective blocks – (3) Coastal and small island science, management and policy, and (4) urban water science, management & policies. Each thematic bloc will feature taught sessions (lectures and skill training workshops) on science, management, policies and research methodology, field excursions, and space for a group assignment and a discussion. The School will start and finish in Tartu, while the for coastal, marine and urban parts all the participants and faculty will move to West-Estonia. By the end of the School, all the participants (individually or in small groups) will be expected to develop and present proposals for a practical solution for a real-life problem, or detailed paper proposals reflecting on their project experience and learning outcomes of the WIN! School. Participants and faculty are encouraged to re-develop the final reports into academic papers or project applications. Successful students will be awarded a WIN! Certificate of Completion at the end of the course and transferred 3 ECTS.
The WIN! summer school will be a valuable learning experience for everyone, but having a great time is also a summer essential. All 30 participants will be students or young experts, therefore we would like everyone to have a memorable time with us in Estonia!


Summer school faculty:

Prof. Raimonds Ernsteins, University of Latvia (Latvia)
Mr. Attila Katona, Central European University (Hungary)
Dr. Viktar Kireyeu​, Saint  Petersburg State University (Russia)
Lecturer Jaak Kliimask, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Dr. Ain Kull, University of Tartu (Estonia)
Lecturer Anne Kull, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Lecturer Marika Kose, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Dr. Tiit Kutser, University of Tartu (Estonia)
Prof. Valdo Kuusemets, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Prof. Hans-Peter Nachtnebel, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria)
Lecturer Valdeko Palginõmm, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Prof. Kalev Sepp, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Dr. Anton Shkaruba, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Estonia)
Dr. Hanna Skryhan, Belarusian-Russian University (Belarus)

Program overview

- Pre-School (June 30-August 10, 2019): pre-course reading and case study materials (LOOK HERE).

- In-School (August 11-25, 2019):

(1) scoping phase (August 11-16)

• August 11: Arrival to Tartu, registration, meet & greet; individual consultations of INTENSE students with academic staff of EMU and summer school faculty

• August 12-15: Introduction to the School, faculty and participants; Lectures: Conceptual foundations, Water management. NbS in urban areas, Wetlands. Flood protection, Blue and green Networks. Small Islands, marginalization. Coastal Management

(2) research training phase (August 17-20)

• August 18-20: selective blocks (1) Wetland restoration, management and policy (2) Science, management and policy of rivers and floodplains, green and blue infrastructure (3) Coastal Zone Management and planning (4) Small islands and marginalization (5) urban water science, management & policies

 • August 21-22:  space for independent and group work, group work on presentations and consultations

(3) reporting, graduation, departures (August 23-25):

• August 22: group work on reports and consultations

• August 23: reporting and graduation

• August 24: departures; individual consultations of INTENSE students with academic staff of EMU and summer school faculty

• August 25: departures; individual consultations of INTENSE students with academic staff of EMU and summer school faculty

- Post-School (September 1-September 30, 2019):
• the group leaders send the final version of group reports (paper or solution proposals) to be included to the edited on-line volume and case study database.

Thematic blocs and field trips:
#1, wetlands: the key issue to be explored will be how to secure the most favourable conservation status for wetlands, and what is the most favourable in this context. Participants will be offered an overview of methodology and guidelines for restoration of degraded mire habitats sites. This will also include the basic principles of protection and management of wetlands, as well as restoration and monitoring (on the field and by drones) of the degraded wetlands.
Sites to be visited: Alam-Pedja (Soosaare mire), Tudusoo and Sirtsi Nature Conservation Areas etc). 
The central question of group assignments: Evaluation of ecosystem services of degraded and restored wetlands.
Faculty in charge: Dr. Ain Kull

#2, rivers and floods, green and blue infrastructure: this course bloc will explore river restoration projects planned, such as for resurfacing (lost) rivers, naturalising channelised rivers, adaption to climate change, compliance with the Floods Directive and link to the relevant Flood Risk Management Plans. Compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive.
Sites to be visited: for flood management – Emajõgi in the city of Tartu and its outskirts, Blue and green infrastructure of Tartu.
The central question of group assignments: how can we handle complex trade-offs between flood safety, economic interests and ecosystem services of green and blue infrastructure?
The faculty in charge: Prof. Hans-Peter Nachtnebel, Attila Katona

#3, coastal zone management and planning: Any human activities on coastal area must be based on achieving or maintaining a healthy environment. The bloc will explore marine and coastal spatial planning (MSP) process in Europe, Baltic Sea Region countries and in Estonia. Examples will come from West-Estonia, Haapsalu.
Sites to be visited: West- Estonian coastline.
The central question of group assignments: How can we handle conflicts between coastal  uses? How can we manage trade-offs between ecosystem services and coastal uses?
The faculty in charge: Prof. Raimonds Ernsteins, Lecturer Valdeko Palginõmm, Lecturer Anne Kull

#4, small islands and marginalization: this bloc will explore on cultural, environmental and social aspects of small islands’ sustainability.
Sites to be visited: island of Kihnu.
The central question of group assignments: what should be considered for a management plan for the small island? What is sustainable for small island ecosystems and communities?
The faculty in charge: Lecturer Jaak Kliimask

#5, urban waters: this bloc is concerned with water-related nature base solutions and their management and governance in cities, in particular in relation to storm water management and use of natural water retention measures. It will also explore the issues of compliance with the Floods Directive and link to the relevant Flood Risk Management Plans.
Sites to be visited: the field work will be carried out within the municipality of Viimsi
The central question of group assignments: how start with the development of policies for urban stormwater and adaptation to climate change in urban areas?
The faculty in charge: Prof. Valdo Kuusemets

Programme in details (PDF)



Application process
Details about the application procedure and available travel grants are available from appilication process page. The application deadline for those who applies for any form of financial assistance and/or needs visa in order to enter Estonia is May 15, 2019. The deadline for all other categories of participants is June 1, 2019.

All the inquiries on the matters not covered by the website should be sent to Dr. Anton Shkaruba,, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 5 Tartu 51006, Estonia

This summer school is co-organised by Erasmus+ CBHE  project INTENSE - Integrated Doctoral Program for Environmental Policy, Management and Technology 
and supported by DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service


This summer school is partially supported by the Doctoral School of Earth Sciences and Ecology, supported by the European Union,
European Regional Development Fund (Estonian University of Life Sciences ASTRA project „Value-chain based bio-economy“).