The theory and practice of 'aerial archaeology' are taught in relatively few universities and polytechnics across Europe. Much the same applies to other forms of remote sensing (ground-based geophysics, airborne laser scanning etc). There is an urgent need to improve the range of opportunities open to intending students, as well as to professionals who wish to extend their range of skills.
This challenge will be addressed by creating contacts, facilitating exchanges and prompting discussion between teachers, professionals working in these fields and those who wishing to apply these techniques in their research or conservation work. The improvement and broadening of course-content will be a priority, with the shared and compared experience of existing teachers and professionals as key factors.
There will be a particular concentration on establishing intensive short-courses in various institutions around Europe so as to increase the opportunity for students and professionals to learn new skills and to experience situations different from those in their own countries.
For those who cannot take part in full-time courses (of whatever duration) the project will create new opportunities through devising multi-lingual 'distance learning' material which can be accessed over the Internet. A reasonable basis already exists in texts and illustrations already used by project members and this material will be brought together, refined and made widely available through the skill of partners who have specialist experience in web-based presentation.
The types of courses which could be offered within or outside the project will be discussed between the partners in the early part of the project, so as to identify both existing opportunities and present inadequacies. There may, for instance, be differences between what is needed and what is currently available, either at nationally or internationally. There may be existing courses which could be more intensively exploited, or new types of instruction that could be prompted into existence by project partners individually or collectively so as to provide learning opportunities that do not yet exist across Europe as a whole.
The basis of such courses might lie in structured distance-learning, with course-content created or coordinated by project partners and disseminated through the internet. But a degree of face-to-face learning and instruction will almost certainly be needed in specialist aspects such as satellite imagery, the use of data from airborne laser scanning, the field-collection and interpretation of geophysical data, and the use of remote-sensing data to secure the better understanding and protection of heritage features through public outreach, planning procedures and national legislation.
Year 1 and part of Year 2 will be used, though email exchanges and discussion in Working Party 4, to share experience and ideas between project partners, to identify existing course-opportunities, to explore as-yet unsatisfied needs and to prepare or assemble distance-learning material. The later parts of the project will concentrate on the pan-European exploitation of existing course-opportunities and the initiation of new courses to fill gaps identified during the initial discussions.
A particular, but inevitably long-term, objective will be the creation of a year-long European Masters degree (or equivalent) which will enable students to build up a special range of skills and experience by undertaking learning or research work at various locations around Europe. Selected partners in the network will offer intensive courses of targeted teaching or research, of between 2 weeks and 3 months' duration. Students will undertake at least two extended placements outside their own country during their year of study, acquiring contacts and opening long-term possibilities for employment outside their native country.
Technical meetings have been scheduled during the 5 years in order to allow the sharing of information and data, open discussion about the partners dealing with this action and work-pack.
Working Package leader:
Wl‚odek Raczkowski (Poznan University)