Technologies linked to the transition to green energy require an ever-increasing amount of various elements such as copper, zinc, cobalt, lithium, and rare earth elements. In light of the current geopolitical situation and the uncertainties this provokes, some countries like Norway have initiated a process to assess the feasibility and consequences of deep sea mining, including in hydrothermal systems. Hence, access to knowledge on deep sea hydrothermal processes and ecosystems is going to be critical both for decision makers and for the emerging industry.
In this course, we want to provide students with research experience at the hydrothermal system of Milos (Greece). This hydrothermal system is a shallow analogue to deep sea vents, and an ideal place for students to be trained in systemic hydrothermal investigation. Students with background in marine geophysics, macrobiology, geomicrobiology and geochemistry will work together to achieve an understanding of the system, how minerals are formed and how to assess the potential environmental impact of exploiting these resources. You will be involved with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions. By the end of this course, students will have learned the process of thorough and rigorous scientific investigation, including result presentation and discussion.