Welcome to the SMART Summer School homepage!

University of Malta

30 June - 5 July 2019

"Understanding marine hydrogeology through the lens of geophysics: Bridging the gap across the coastal zone"

Photos: Bradley Weymer/GEOMAR and Marion Jegen/GEOMAR

General information

The SMART Summer School aims to provide junior scientists with a comprehensive view on coastal groundwater research – a topic that is gaining increased international attention and represents a new frontier in marine science. This is the first offering of three planned Summer Schools that are directly linked to the main research objectives of SMART, which are to: 1) Develop a best practice guide on how to combine geophysical measurements (electromagnetic and seismic) with geochemical characterization to detect, characterize and monitor OAs. 2) Quantify the hydrologic budget of OAs, and 3) Predict how OAs will change in response to extraction and climate change. This summer, we will focus on the first objective using geophysics as a tool to map the location and quantify the geometry and volume of onshore/offshore aquifers.

Target group: We are seeking graduate students at either the Master’s or PhD level that have a strong interest in coastal groundwater research. Students that are pursuing degrees in the fields (or related fields) of hydrogeology, marine geophysics, near-surface applied geophysics, and coastal geology/geomorphology are encouraged to apply. The total number of participants is limited to 10 students. If more than 10 students apply, the selection will be based on the evaluation of the applicants CV and motivation letter.

Location: The SMART Summer School will be held at the University of Malta Msida Campus. Classroom lectures will be held in the computer labs on campus. The location of the fiieldwork will be decided upon soon... stayed tuned!

Registration: You can register securely by clicking the Registration tab and completing the form. Please include your name, email address and your intent to register for the course. You will then receive instructions by email on how to send your short CV and motivation letter (as a single pdf file) for review by the SMART team members. Please limit your CV to no more than 2 pages and your motivation letter to no more than 300 words. Participants will be informed about their admission no later than 10 May 2019.

Fee: The course fee is 500.00 € (including taxes)

Important dates:

- 7 March 2019: Registration opens

- 19 April 2019: Registration closes

- 10 May 2019: Notification of acceptance announced

- 31 May 2019: Registration fees due. Course instructions and materials sent to each participant

- 30 June - 5 July 2019: Summer School

Program overview

About us

The SMART Summer School is jointly organized by professors and researchers from GEOMAR, the University of MALTA, and Texas A&M University and is funded (in part) by the Helmholtz European Partnering Initiative through the SMART project and by MARCAN. For this year’s theme our team members collectively have experience in the fields of geophysics, marine geology, and coastal geomorphology with a focus on exploring onshore/offshore groundwater as a potential resource to relieve water stress in coastal communities.

Christian Berndt (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel)

Prof. Berndt is the head of the department of Marine Geophysics at GEOMAR. He has been working on fluid flow in marine sediments, seismic imaging, and tectonics for the past twenty years and published widely on these subjects. He is one of the inventors of the P-Cable high-resolution 3D seismic system and has been chief scientist on more than 20 marine geophysical expeditions. For the summer school, Prof. Berndt is the instructor for the theory and application of reflection seismology in the marine environment.

Rob L. Evans (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Prof. Evans (RE) is a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he has worked for 23 years. RE specializes in marine electromagnetic mthods including controlled source techniques and magnetotellurics. Evans has built specialist marine instrumentation for making seafoor measurements of electric and magnetic fields. He has worked on a broad range of problems ranging from melt transport at mid-ocean ridges, flud release at subduction zones and groundwater distributions beneath the offshore continental shelf. 

Mark Everett (Texas A&M University, USA)

Prof. Everett is a professor of geophysics at Texas A&M University, USA. Mark holds BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from York University, Canada and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Toronto. He is the author of a recently published book on Near-Surface Applied Geophysics and is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Geophysics. For the summer school, Prof. Everett is the instructor for near-surface applied geophysics with an emphasis on electromagnetic methods to investigate groundwater on land.

Marion Jegen (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel)

Dr. Jegen is the leader of the marine electromagnetic research group at GEOMAR. She received her PhD at University of Toronto and has worked as a PostDoc and researcher at the Universite der Bretagne Occ., University of Cambridge and ETH prior to joining GEOMAR. Her main interests are the exploration of marine resources (methane hydrates and seafloor ore deposits) and geophysical data integration. For the summer school, Dr. Jegen is the instructor for the theory and application of marine controlled-source electromagnetics and its application for mapping offshore aquifers.

Hela Mehrtens (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel)

Dr. Hela Mehrtens is the Equal Opportunity Commissioner at GEOMAR since 2015. Being a marine meteorologist by education, she moved onto working as a scientific data manager, supporting interdisciplinary and large-scale projects in internal communication, data description, data exchange and publication.

Aaron Micallef (University of Malta)

Prof. Micallef is the leader of the Marine Geology & Seafloor Surveying (MGSS) group at the University of Malta. He is a marine geologist with expertise in seafloor geomorphology, marine hydrogeology and seafloor surveying. Aaron leads an ERC-funded project (MARCAN) that is currently investigating the role of groundwater in shaping seafloor morphology. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master’s degree in geomorphology, and completed his PhD in marine geology at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. For the summer school, Prof. Micallef is the instructor for the local hydrogeology of Malta both onshore and offshore.

Bradley Weymer (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel)

Dr. Weymer is a postdoctoral researcher at GEOMAR and holds a BSc in Oceanography from Millersville University, USA and MSc and PhD degrees in Geology from Texas A&M University, USA. He is a coastal geomorphologist by training with an interest in terrestrial near-surface and marine applied geophysics for understanding the complex interactions between subsurface geology, surface geomorphology, and groundwater dynamics across the coastal zone. Dr. Weymer is the coordinator of the summer school and instructor for the coastal hydrogeology across the coastal zone.

How to get there

The Summer School will take place at the University of Malta - Msida campus. Accomodation will be located at the University Residence in Lija, which by bus is approximaely 30 minutes away. Malta has an international airport with many connections to different European cities (many of which are offered through low-cost carriers). Buses can be taken directly from the airport to the University Residence.

Where to stay

Accomodation: Accomodation will be provided at the University Residence. Students will stay in twin-sharing rooms.

The rooms include cleaning once a week, change of linen, sheets and towels, gas, water, electricity, free shuttle service to University (Msida) and Hospital from Mon-Fri 7am to 5pm, the use of the large swimming pool, sports grounds, TV/ lounge area and 24/7 reception service. We even offer optional Laundry service and WIFI connection (free of charge to all University and Medical students). Inside the premises we have a Restaurant and mini - market.

All apartments are on self-catering basis but many students make use of the daily buffet offers. Apart from that there is Smart Supermarket which makes free delivery to all our students every hour.

We are situated in Lija exactly in the center of the island which makes it very easy travelling around Malta.


For more information on the SMART Summer School, please contact Bradley Weymer or Aaron Micallef. See you in Malta in July 2019!