The 3MUGIS summer school is an annual event, which addresses relevant contemporary environmental consequences and opportunities of urbanization with special emphasis on soil functions. The event is organized under the umbrella of the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS), RUDN University (Russia) and the Urban Soil Institute (USA) with strong cooperation from universities, institutions and research teams from around the world.
Building from considerable experience and feedback from participants during the first two years, the organizers have decided to further focus the school on solid practical skills in monitoring, modeling and mapping urban soils and green infrastructure over different climatic and anthropogenic conditions. Lessons from traditional, long-standing and internationally recognized zonal soil geography field courses from Moscow State University (Russia) and the University of California (USA) are being incorporated to provide additional structure, congruence, and rigor to the 3MUGIS program. The organizers intend for the school to become a globally recognized training program that provides students with first hand field experience examining anthropogenic impact sequences across conventional soil forming factors from Sub-artic to Dry steppe climates. At the end of the program, students will better understand the social, climactic, and geographic factors that contribute to human soil modification in this region; the long-term implications of such changes; practical skills to perform in-field soil monitoring, soil mapping and remote sensing; and applied skills in identifying, implementing, and managing opportunities for urban green infrastructure development.
Five days of focused on-campus training in skills relevant to the sites visited will occur at RUDN University in Moscow city. They will be followed by an expanded two-week field tour from the White Sea (Kandalaksha town, 67N; 32E) to the Azov Sea (Taganrog town, 47N; 38E). The tour will give students a unique overview of the natural and cultural diversity of European Russia. Five zones (subarctic, taiga, deciduous forest, forest-steppes and steppes) will be studied in regard to key issues of urban development, including industrial pollution, forest management, agricultural development, and urban-rural interactions. Urban soils and green infrastructure at each of the region will be studied in comparison to natural references. Conventional field descriptions and classification will be amplified by advanced techniques of in-field analysis. Lecture and field parts will consistently follow the problem-oriented framework to be presented at the final team and individual projects, and a short quiz will occur after each field tour stop that covers topics most relevant to that stop.
For the first time, the school was organized in Moscow ahead of the SUITMA 9 international congress in May 2017 and attracted students and young researchers from 8 countries. Five days included lectures, seminars, lab and field practicals, art and design master classes and a rich social program. Top-level experts with different backgrounds including environmental protection, civil engineering and policy-making shared their skills and knowledge. The key-note speeches were given by the IUSS president Prof. Rattan Lal (USA), IUSS elected president Takashi Kasaki (Japan), Noble Prize Laureate Prof. Riccardo Valentini (Italy), SUITMA president Prof. J. Kim (South Korea), Prof. J.L. Morel (France), Prof. W. Burghardt (Germany), Prof. M. Gerasimova (Russia) and Prof. Z. Cheng (USA). In 2018, 3MUGIS included two parts: an intensive week of lectures, followed by a week long field tour observing natural and anthropogenic soils and landscapes from the taiga to the steppes of Russia.