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  • NEXUS: Earth Surface Dynamics

Earth Surface System Dynamics

The terrestrial Earth Surface System (ESS) is driven by geological, biological, and climatic forces. They form a complex system of closely coupled processes and feedbacks that are not yet sufficiently understood. Knowledge of these interactions is essential because the Earth’s surface is the foundation for all human activity and its dynamics impact all facets of life, habitability, and sustainability.

Through UP's research initiative NEXUS: Earth Surface Dynamics the renowned earth, environmental, life and data sciences of the Potsdam-Berlin area will intensify existing collaboration and liaise with
new partners to form a network to understand Earth-Surface processes. UP’s science campus Golm will be the center of NEXUS providing modern infrastructure and a concentration of interdisciplinary expertise.

The NEXUS research initiative is coordinating the UP application for a Cluster of Excellence in the context of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments.

News and Featured Stories

Layer by layer

Geologists research sedimentary basin formation in the Andes

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Quite Warm, Quite Cold

Geomicrobiologist Dirk Wagner researches the smallest lifeforms in extreme environments

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“You can do more with Legos”

A practical course with Martin Trauth is packed with high-tech: infrared and ultrasound sensors, gyroscopes, magnetometers, multispectral cameras – and Leg

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Nature Conservation from Space

Satellites orbiting our planet at altitudes of hundreds to a thousand kilometers are continuously collecting detailed data on the earth's surface.

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Fishing for DNA – A drilling core reveals the history of an entire ecosystem

Molecular biologist Michael Hofreiter “hunts” long-extinct animals by analyzing so-called ancient DNA.

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Potsdam Summer School Explores the Future of Cities – International exchange on the sustainability

The rapid pace of change around the world is presenting humankind and human environments with tremendous challenges.

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From the Partners:

PIK: Schellnhuber presents "10 Must-Knows on Climate" at COP23

From accelerating sea-level rise and ocean acidification to increasing risks of extreme weather events and the "collision course" with Earth’s climatic tipping points.

AWI: Retreating permafrost coasts threaten the fragile Arctic environment

The EU project Nunataryuk will determine the effects of permafrost thaw on Earth’s coldest shorelines.