Summer School 2023 Programme








General Information

The course aims to give students a thorough introduction in the role of meteorite and comets impacts in the formation of Earth, its atmosphere and the evolution of life. The course consists of lectures, practical exercises and student-led discussions. Participants will also have the possibility to display their own research results in one or two poster sessions. The following subjects will be covered by the lectures:

  • Roles of impacts in the formation of habitable planets
  • Physical and chemical properties of comets and meteorites
  • Detection and investigation of impact craters by geological methods and remote sensing from space
  • Ecological consequences of impacts and the role of impacts in mass extinctions
  • Transfer of life through meteorite impacts
  • Threat of life on our planet by near-Earth asteroids and comets



A PRELIMINARY schedule for the summer school can be found here.


The lecture programme will be complemented by practical exercises concerning:

  • Investigations of Suevite formations
  • Analysis of pollen indicators of impact events through microscopy.
  • Microscopy of impactites
  • Outreach work for a conference on “Impacts and their role in the evolution of life” in Nördlingen in Autumn 2024


We also will have two one-day excursions, one around the Ries Crater and one to the Steinheim Crater with its famous central uplift feature. We will have packed lunches at this excursion.

In the Ries Crater we will firs have a visit to the Riegel Mountain with the famous Ofnet Caves from where we have a very good view over the whole crater. Then we go to the Lindle site where we can see very instructive impact formations in a disused quarry. After a hearty lunch at the Alte Bürg inn (link we go tho the quarry with the same name where interesting suevite structures can be found. Then we make our way to the Wallerstein rock (an artesian feature) which we an climb. After visiting some other geological sites we make our way back to Nördlingen.

In the excursion to Steinheim we will visit the Steinheim crater museum and then have a walk to field sites including the central uplift. We will also visit a place where we are able to search for shatter cones.

Poster Sessions

Participants will also have the possibility to display their own research results in two poster sessions. Dimensions and the colour of poster walls will be announced in due course.

Confirmed Lecturers

Alexis Brandeker

Stockholm Univeristy Astrobiology Centre, Sweden

Elmar Buchner

University of Applied Sciences, Neu-Ulm, Germany

Bethany Ehlmann

Caltech, USA

Ludovic Ferrière

Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria

Martin Hilchenbach

Max Planck Institute for Solar system Research, Germany

Stefan Hölzl

Ries Crater Museum, Vienna, Austria

Anna Łosiak

Polish Academy of Sciences

Vivi Vajda

National Museum of Natural History, Sweden

Lidia Pitarello

Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria

Kai Wünnemann

Museum of Natural History, Berlin Germany

Alexandra Pontefract

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, USA

Wolf Geppert

Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre, Sweden

Reserve your spot today!