M.Sc. in Desert Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Facing Near Future Ecological Challenges
For the last few decades the issue of desertification has been causing both alarm and interest worldwide, as the process may lead to dismal results in terms of decreased food growth, ecological and environmental changes that may in turn lead to political conflicts. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is the only school in Israel to offer a M.Sc. program in Desert Studies.
In this Master program
there are six fields of expertise to choose from:
Agriculture and Biotechnology for Sustainable Development - deals with measures for maximizing crop yields in desert climate.
Irrigation and Plant Environment – focuses on developing and upgrading irrigation systems and water quality.
Ecology of Dry Lands – specializes in conservation of biodiversity in the desert.
Solar Energy and Environmental Physics – address issues of recourse management and use of technologies in the desert, and focuses on solar energy and use of water.
Environmental and Aquatic Microbiology – concerns water and waste management techniques in the desert.
Environmental Studies – the focus is on people living in dry lands, including aspects of politics, urban planning, gender etc.
Each of the tracks includes both theoretical studies and applied research seminars in which students will take part in researches and the development of new technologies. Among the areas of research: developing new irrigation systems, amplifying the use of sustainable energy, protecting wildlife in the desert and urban design in the desert.
Most of the tracks are for M.Sc. degree
, and are taught in English throughout a period of two years. The classes are held in BGU's Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies in Sde Boker (southern Israel). All students must complete a thesis and pass a final exam in order to graduate.
Among the courses in the program:
* The Human Dimension of Living in Desert Countries
* Environmental Technology
* Plant Physiology in Dry Lands
* Biotechnology in the Desert
* Desert Aquaculture
* Biological Networks
* Topics in Ecology
* Spatial Ecology
* Agriculture in the Desert
Among BGU Albert katz School's faculty you can find: a professor who was named in 2010 as one of the ten most promising scientists in Israel; chairpersons of international thinking tanks; members of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences; and more.
Applicants must complete an undergraduate degree in Science or Engineering with a GPA of 75. In addition, students who are not native English speakers must take an English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL. Graduates of Social Sciences B.A. programs may apply for the Environmental Studies Master's track
Graduates of most tracks will receive a M.Sc. in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University. However, graduates of the Environmental Studies track will receive a M.A. from BGU.