International Summer School on Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Historical Geology, in a potential UNESCO Geopark
Summer School under the auspices of UNESCO – “Madygen – 2023”
Organizers of Summer School:
- – Tian-Shan Geological Society (Kyrgyzstan),
- – Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (Freiberg, Germany),
- – Kyrgyz State University of Geology (Kyrgyzstan).
Summer School Dates: August 17 – August 27, 2023
The International Summer School will be held during a scientific geological expedition, where aspects of paleontology, geology, stratigraphy, etc. will be studied.
The members of the expedition will act as mentors of the Summer School. The Summer School mentors are famous scientists from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Germany
Summer School goals: Developing skills in sedimentology, palaeontology, stratigraphy, historical geology. Gaining experience of geological fieldwork and palaeontological excavations. Documentation of sections under the supervision of professionals.
International complex geological expedition to Geopark “Madygen”
The International Summer School for young professionals and anyone who wants to gain practical skills and knowledge in paleontology, stratigraphy, structural and historical geology. The summer field school will be held in the famous stratotype area of Madygen, a geological treasury of global importance in the southern Tian-Shan in Kyrgyzstan.
In 2021, Madygen entered the Geopark territory thanks to the 727 project, to create a Geopark, which is supported by the UNESCO International Geosciences and Geoparks Program (IGCP).
In September-October 2021, an international paleontological expedition was carried out, which showed a significant long-term potential for the study of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic formations of Madygen.
Upon completion of the summer school, all participants will receive certificates certified by seals and signatures from the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty, the Kyrgyz State Geological University, the Tian-Shan Geological Society and the Triassic subcommission of International Commission on Stratigraphy.
During the summer school, all participants will be in close contact with our mentors – famous scientists and experts in the stratigraphy of Madygen, who for many years have devoted themselves to researching the geology and paleontology of Central Asia. These are famous scientists from the academies of sciences of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, as well as the best experts of the Madygen formations, from the Freiberg Mining Academy from Germany.
The most effective way to gain new knowledge is to work with real professionals during a real scientific expedition. Therefore, the summer school will be organized during the international scientific expedition “Madygen – 2023”. Famous scientists will take part in this expedition, who will be mentors for the participants of the summer school.
Overview of the Madygen area
The Madygen region in SW Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, is world-famous among palaeontologists for the unique non-marine fossil lagerstätte of the mid-Triassic Madygen Formation (Voigt et al. 2017) allowing unrivalled insights into the evolution of various groups of terrestrial and aquatic organisms in the continental realm after the End-Permian mass extinction and recovery. The Madygen Formation unconformably overlies Palaeozoic rocks and is overlain by a succession of Late Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary formations. These are covered by Cenozoic deposits of the so-called Fergana Gulf of the Palaeogene Tethys sea.
Excellent outcrop conditions in semi-arid areas with low vegetation form a colorful motley-colored low-mountain landscape and facilitate litho-stratigraphic studies of rocks, as well as the collection of fossils of fossil fauna and flora, making Madygen an attractive place for professionals engaged in geological, paleontological or paleoecological research and for geotourists interested in landscapes and geological excursions.
There are also various ecological and archaeological sites that await exploration as a cultural heritage of the region. The unique area of Madygen represents the ideal location for the creation of the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Central Asia, which is currently being prepared under the UNESCO IGCP 727 project.
Despite the available results, Madygen is currently not fully investigated. This is an area of long-term research. Therefore, the participants of the summer school will have real opportunities to implement joint scientific research of Meso-Cenozoic fossil flora and fauna and an excellent international platform for new cooperation.
The research area is located in the Southern Tien-Shan in one of the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan – Batken oblast. The nearest airport is located in the Osh city – an ancient provider on the Great Silk Road in Central Asia.
Those arriving in Osh will be accommodated in a guest house. In Osh, we will conduct a briefing and partial preparation for the expedition (purchase of food, supplies, tools).
Further, the journey from the Osh to Madygen (about 350 km) will take about 6 hours. Madygen is located 70 km from the Batken city and 25 km from the Samarkandek village.
Those participants who need to leave earlier will be able to use an expedition car to the airport or to the Batken city.
For the expedition we will use a comfortable Mercedes Sprinter mini buses for 15 passengers. We plan to use a second car to transport luggage, equipment and food.
For field work and off-road driving in the Madygen area, we plan to use two 4WD vehicles. The place where the expedition is planned is a foothill zone with absolute heights of 900-1600 m. All geological sections are relatively well accessible.
All participants will be met at the airport. There are 2 options for arriving in Kyrgyzstan: Option 1 – Arrival at the airport in Bishkek, Option 2 – Arrival at the airport in Osh. The second option is for those who do not want to spend 1 day exploring Kyrgyzstan on the way from Bishkek to Osh.
One car will start from Bishkek as it is supposed to deliver equipment for the field camp. This car will also have passenger seats. The road from Bishkek to Osh will take 1 day. The path from Bishkek to Osh lies through the mountain ranges and high-mountain valleys of the Tian-Shan.
If you want to come to Bishkek, then we will offer you the most convenient hotel where all participants will stay. You can also book the hotel yourself. The hotel is planning to hold a briefing and presentation of the expedition program.
If the participants arrive in Osh (the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan), we reserve a place in the guest house.
Food and cuisine
During the summer school, there will be three meals a day, as well as food for field radial trips and hikes. The organizers also provide field equipment for temporary field camps. If the research area is located far from the base camp, additional equipment will be provided.
Visas and permits
In Kyrgyzstan, a visa-free regime is valid for citizens from over 70 countries. Also, a visa can be obtained in a simplified manner for citizens from more than 65 countries.
Link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan: https://mfa.gov.kg/en/osnovnoe-menyu/konsulskie-uslugi/konsulskie-vizovye-voprosy/izovye-i-bezvizovye-rezhimy
For official and legal research, our organization has all the necessary permits from the authorities. We will also obtain customs permits for exporting samples to other countries.
Conditions for participation in the expedition, cash contribution, currency
An individual contribution for participation in the summer school is intended to cover basic costs and services, except for hotels in Bishkek. The amount of individual contributions covers all indicated service costs. The size of the contribution does not cover the cost of air travel to and from Kyrgyzstan.
Summer school staff
The dates of the summer school coincide with the dates of the scientific expedition. Therefore, service maintenance of participants in field activities will be carried out by a single staff.
- – Drivers,
- – Chef and assistant,
- – Workers during field work are students of the Geological University
- – Also involved are local residents (the owner of the house) who will provide us with fresh food.
Field camp equipment
The base camp will be located in a picturesque location in one of the private houses of a local farmer. The picturesque place is an oasis formed by karst springs.
Tian-Shan Geological Society will provide all the necessary equipment for field work and base field camp:
- – Large tent for the kitchen,
- – Large tent or Kyrgyz yurt for the dining room,
- – Large tents for field labs
- – Individual tents for each participant,
- – Field tables and chairs,
- – Utensils for the kitchen, individual dishes,
- – The source of electricity is an electric generator,
- – Field toilets,
- – Field shower,
- – Radio stations,
- – Satellite phone,
- – Packaging material and containers for samples of fossil fauna and flora (to be discussed with each participant),
- – Tools for work: shovels, picks, brushes, gloves, etc.
- – Consumables
- – First aid kit
- – The base camp will have a shower and toilet.
The duration of the summer school in the field is 12 days, not including the days for flights to and from Kyrgyzstan. The base camp will be organized in the picturesque Madygen oasis.
- Day 1. Meeting at the airport. Accommodation in a guest house in Osh
- Day 2. Transfer Osh – Batken – Madygen. Setting up the base camp. The main premises (tents) will be set up in advance.
- Days 3-14. Field Summer School in the Madygen region.
- Day 15. Transfer Madygen – Osh
- Day 16. Transfer to the airport, Departure
ORGANIZERS AND PARTNERS
- – Tian-Shan Geological Society,
- – Kyrgyz State University of Geology, Mining and Development of Natural Resources,
- – Freiberg Mining Academy,
- – UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
- – UNESCO International Geosciences and Geoparks Program