Welcome to ICOS Belgium
ICOS Head Office is looking for a Head of Operations
The ICOS Head Office in Helsinki, Finland has an open job position for a Head of Operations. She or he will be heading the Operations Unit, leading a team of 5 persons. The position is full-time and permanent.
The application deadline is 5 May 2019
ICOS ecosystem protocols published in International Agrophysics
Thirteen protocols on greenhouse gas flux and ancillary measurements at terrestrial ecosystems have been published in a dedicated issue of the open-access journal International Agrophysics. These protocols describe the current agreed methodology for assessing the greenhouse gas exchange in the terrestrial ecosystem types that are most relevant for Europe.
The protocols are published in the format of scientific articles explaining the purpose and scientific background of the measurements and justifying the choice of the method. They include a general introduction on ICOS, in particular of its ecosystem domain.
The Ecosystem Thematic Centre (ETC) took the lead in writing four of the thirteen documents, with the ETC UAntwerp team lead authoring the protocols on soil-meteorological measurements and ancillary measurements (lead authors Dr. Maarten Op de Beeck and Dr. Bert Gielen). Numerous other researchers from ICOS Belgium contributed to the development of the protocols as well.
For the practical implementation of the protocols, complementary step-by-step instruction documents were developed by the ETC, which can be found on the ETC website.
Many thanks to the ecosystem community for this huge achievement!
Find the protocols here.
7 - 12 April 2019: The European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly - Vienna (Austria)
The European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly 2019 is taking place in Vienna (Austria) on 7–12 April 2019. EGU 2019 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The deadline for abstract submission is 10 January 2019, 13:00 CET.
All information can be found here: https://www.egu2019.eu/.
Greenlight for replacement of Belgian research vessel Belgica
The Belgian Government is investing 53,7 million EUR in a new Belgian research vessel for multidisciplinary oceanic research. The nameless ship will take the place of the 34 years old RV Belgica, which is the ICOS ocean observation platform run by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS). The ship will be larger and will have double the laboratory space of the Belgica. It will also have a silent motor needed for fishery research. The ship will be built in Spain and is planned to be sea proof by October 2020.
The government has launched a competition for secondary schools to choose the new ship’s name. Classes can enter the competition via www.belspo.be/NewRV.
In the news:
ICOScapes Photo Exhibition Opened
On 11 September 2018 the ICOScapes Photo Exhibition was opened at the third ICOS Science Conference in Prague, Czech Republic. The 24 photo’s visualizing greenhouse gas measurements and research activities at 12 ICOS stations were taken by nature photographer Konsta Punkka (@kpunkka).
The exhibition will be traveling across Europe in 2018–2019. In Belgium the research vessel Simon Stevin from VLIZ was photographed. Watch this video to learn more about the Simon Stevin.
All the photos of the ICOScapes campaign can be viewed at @icosri.
First ICOS Progress Report
Proefkot is an afterschool science academy for children aged 11 – 13 years old organized by the University of Antwerp. A group of children from different schools and backgrounds are invited during six afternoons to follow workshops on different science and technology subjects at the university. ICOS Belgium organized two workshops about climate change on 28 March and 2 May 2018.
For more information on future editions of Proefkot visit https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/onderzoek-en-innovatie/wetenschap-voor-iedereen/kinderen/proefkot
Information panel at Vielsalm
An information panel was put up at the Vielsalm ecosystem station to inform passers-by of the ongoing research activities. Stop by when you're in the neighbourhood.
ICOS @ Children’s UniversityICOS participated in the Children’s University organized on Sunday 18 March 2018 by the University of Antwerp. In this yearly event children of all ages participate in various scientific workshops and lectures given by researchers of the UAntwerp. More than 1500 children participated in this year’s edition. See here for a report in Dutch.
PI of ICOS site awarded with the Highly Cited Researchers Award
The Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers Award celebrates the top 1% of most-cited researchers in their respective field over a recent 11-year period (2005-2015). In the 2017 list 4 Belgians have been awarded. One of which is Prof. Ivan Janssens of the Plants and Ecosystems Research Centre of Excellence (University of Antwerp) and PI for the Brasschaat ecosystem station. Prof. Janssens made it to the list three times in total. You can find his researcherID here.
See the complete 2017 list here.
ICOS mentioned in the Policy Note of Federal Minister of Science
In the Policy Note of Federal Minister of Science Zuhal Demir ICOS was mentioned as an example of international collaboration and of specialised research infrastructures. In the same note the investment into a new research vessel that will replace RV Belgica (Belgian's third ocean observation station) was also mentioned.
ICOS Belgium Science Conference - 75 participants!
Many thanks to all the 75 participants of the very first ICOS Belgium Science Conference on 20 October 2017 in Gembloux! See you back in two years for the second edition (date and place to be announced). The presentations can now be found here:
- Keynote speech Long term carbon and greenhouse gas exchange estimates with eddy covariance : achievements, pitfalls and questions - prof. Marc Aubinet: download
- Unravelling the temporal variation in a 16-year net ecosystem exchange time series of a Belgian mixed forest - Joanna Horemans: download
- Measurement of greenhouse gases and other climate relevant species using in-situ and FTIR remote sensing at La Réunion Island - Minqian Zhou: download
- Continuous methane concentration and stable isotope measurements in the Scheldt estuary - Caroline Jacques: download
- Comparison of aboveground biomass production efficiency for a grassland and a forest with similar edaphic and climatic conditions - Bernard Longdoz: download
- Rotational and continuous grazing does not affect the total net ecosystem exchange of a pasture grazed by cattle but modifies CO2 exchange dynamics - Louis Gourlez de la Motte: download
- Using tree-ring sampling to quantify historical stem growth and reconstruct aboveground biomass at flux-tower sites - Jasper Bloemen: download
- Oxygenated Compounds in the Tropical Atmosphere of the ICOS site of La Réunion in the Indian ocean - Jenny Stravakou: download
- Mimicking nature: using ICOS data to control the climatic conditions inside the Ecotron Hasselt University - Jan Clerinx: download
- Valuation of the impacts of climate change on dry heathland climate regulation - Francois Rineau: download
New infomation panels Lochristi
Two new information panels were put up at the ecosystem monitoring station of Lochristi. The panels were designed to inform passers by of the ongoing research at the station. Go have a look when you’re in the neighbourhood!
ICOS Belgium Science Conference
On Friday 20 October 2017 the University of Antwerp (UAntwerp) and the University of Liège (ULG) are organizing the first science conference dedicated to the Belgian ICOS research infrastructure. The ICOS Belgium Science Conference, as the event is called, will take place in Gembloux near the ecosystem monitoring station of Lonzée, an agricultural crop land site managed by ULG and the first European station to be completely standardized according to ICOS requirements.
A visit to the Lonzée station is foreseen in the program. The goal of the science conference is to showcase the ICOS facilities, be it the freely available long term data or the standardized monitoring stations and the broad range of possibilities in which these facilities can be put to use, to the Belgian science community interested in climate change research in ecosystems, the oceans and the atmosphere.
Contributions are welcomed from researchers, modellers and other stakeholders from within and outside the ICOS Belgium network. Submit your abstract before the deadline of 1 September 2017 here . Hope to welcome many of you there!
20 October 2017: ICOS Belgium Science Conference - Gembloux
The ICOS Belgium Science Conference will take place on 20 October 2017 in Gembloux, Belgium
You are cordially invited to register/submit your abstract here. Participation is free of charge.
Registration/submission deadline: Friday 1 September 2017.
21 - 25 August 2017: 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference ICDC10 - Interlaken (Switzerland)
The 10th anniversary International Carbon Dioxide Conference will provide participants with an integrated, interdisciplinary view of the global carbon cycle and its perturbation by humans. Conference themes include the contemporary carbon cycle, its trends, variability and observations, the paleo perspective and planetary boundaries, biogeochemical processes and their feedbacks and linkages with ecosystems, climate and socio-economic processes, scenarios for the future and steps toward long-term Earth system stability, as well as carbon cycle research in support of the Paris agreement.
We invite contributions from natural and social scientists and from all disciplines addressing the global carbon cycle and its anthropogenic perturbation.
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 March 2017
More information and registration: www.icdc10.ch
24 May - 2 June 2017: 4th ICOS Summer School on Challenges in GHG measurements and modelling (Hyytiälä, Finland)
The 4th ICOS Summer School (previously known as InGOS/TTorch Summer School) "Challenges in measurements of greenhouse gases and their interpretation" will be held in 2017 at Hyytiälä field station in Finland.
The school will be organized in four sections:
- Ecosystem fluxes and measurements
- Atmospheric composition and measurements (in-situ and remote sensing)
- Modelling of the global climate, carbon cycle, atmospheric transport and chemistry
- Data management and cloud ('big data') methods
The last two sections will each include a practical session.
Lecturers include: Christoph Gerbig, Martin Heimann, Maarten Krol, Wouter Peters, Anders Lindroth, Greet Maenhout and Timo Vesala.
You can apply by completing this form. The receipt of your application will be acknowledged by email. Candidates will be selected by a small committee and the results will be made known by 1 March 2017.
The application deadline is 1 February 2017.
Read the full announcement with more detailed information here.
Second ICOS Belgium Consortium Study Day - 4 May 2016 (Gembloux)
The second ICOS Belgium Consortium Study Day was organized on Wednesday 4 May 2016 in Gembloux. 26 participants from nearly all Belgian partner institutions were present.
The meeting was held at the Agro-Bio Tech campus of the University of Liège (ULG) in Gembloux. Host of the meeting and coordinator of the Walloon ICOS network Marc Aubinet opened the meeting with a welcome speech. This was followed by an overview of the past and planned activities of ICOS Belgium and an update of the current status of the Belgian Network by Focal Point Reinhart Ceulemans (presentation).
The morning session of the Study Day began with presentations of the new and upgraded stations of the Belgian ICOS Network. Lieven Naudts of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) presented the research vessel Belgica (presentation). This is already the third ocean station in the Belgian network. While Mahesh Kumar Sha of the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA) presented the very first Belgian atmospheric station located on Ile de La Réunion in the Indian Ocean (presentation). The ecosystem station in Jalhay was recently upgraded and Monique Carnol of the University of Liège gave an overview of the improvements that were made (presentation). Lastly Marilyn Roland of the University of Antwerp introduced the newly constructed ecosystem station with an underground cabin in National Park De Hoge Kempen in Maasmechelen (presentation).
Next up was Bert Gielen (University of Antwerp, Ecosystem Thematic Centre), who described the ICOS station labelling process (presentation). The labelling process has recently been opened and is being tracked and evaluated by the ICOS Thematic Centres. It is the evaluation process that all station of ICOS must successfully undergo to become part of the European ICOS Research Infrastructure. The Principal Investigators (PI's) of the Belgian stations were invited to start the application for the labelling of their stations as soon as possible. Thi Minh Tu Nguyen (University of Antwerp, Focal Point) continued the morning session with explaining the ICOS ERIC - National Network Agreement (presentation). This agreement lays out the mutual tasks and responsibilities of ICOS ERIC and the stations of the Belgian network. The agreement is signed at the end of the labelling process. It was agreed among the partners of ICOS Belgium that each host institution will sign the agreement and that the agreement must be approved by the legal department of the host institutions first.
The afternoon session of the meeting was spent brooding on new ideas and brainstorming. Thi Minh Tu Nguyen, launched the idea of writing an ICOS Belgium Consortium Mission Statement (presentation). The Mission Statement should list the objectives of the ICOS Belgium Consortium and define the roles of the Focal Point and of the Consortium partners. It should be agreed and signed by all the partners of the Consortium. A first proposal was presented and the content was discussed. Based on this debate the text will be further developed. The day was concluded with a round table discussion where ideas for outreach activities and for disseminating the results of ICOS Belgium were proposed.
We would like to thank the University of Liège for hosting the ICOS Belgium Consortium Study Day and all of the partners for a very fruitful meeting. We hope to continue our constructive collaboration within ICOS Belgium and hope that with the help of the Mission Statement we may further strengthen our partnership in the future.
ICOS Science Conference 2016 Abstract Submissions Due 02 June 2016 - Extended until 9 June 2016
The ICOS Science Conference 2016 will take place in Helsinki, Finland from 27 until 29 September 2016. You can submit your abstract through the conference website: http://www.icos-sc2016.eu/call-for-abstracts
Researchers and scientists can submit abstracts within following themes:
- Theme 1 - From local to global scales: Relevance of regions and hotspots on greenhouse gas cycles
- Theme 2 - Long time series, experiments and modelling
- Theme 3 - New development in observation techniques and new scientific questions
- Theme 4 - After COP21: Challenges towards globally integrated observations and independent evaluation
- Theme 5 - Communicating Climate
For early career scientists there will be an Early Career Workshop during the conference.
The deadline for abstract submission is 9 June 2016.
Launch of the Belgian ICOS Network
The official launch of the Belgian ICOS network on Tuesday 22 March 2016 in National Park de Hoge Kempen in Maasmechelen was sadly overshadowed by the terrorist attacks in Brussels. The Belgian ICOS community however was not discouraged and researchers, university representatives and stakeholders came down to the event nevertheless. The ceremony was led by Belgian Focal Point Reinhart Ceulemans. ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch had come down from the ICOS Head Office in Helsinki to do the official opening of the ICOS Belgian network and the newest ecosystem station operated by the University of Antwerp in the NP de Hoge Kempen. In his speech he emphasized the importance of tackling greenhouse gases on a global scale.
'by facilitating long-term measurements of carbon and greenhouse gasses in Europe, ICOS will deliver the invaluable knowledge needed to take effective measures against climate change both on a European and a global scale' - Werner Kutsch, ICOS Director General.
Special thanks also to Ignace Schops, director of NP de Hoge Kempen, to give an account of the history of the national park that was celebrating its 10th birthday in the same week.
And last but not least a big thank you to all the partners in the Belgian ICOS network for making this ambitious project possible!
The event was covered in the press by:
And a small sound fragment on the flemisch radio:
7 - 10 November 2016: North Sea Open Science Conference (Ostend)
On the Road to a Carbon-Free Belgium
The FEDERAL COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BELGIUM has financed the production of a documentary entitled On the Road to a Carbon-Free Belgium in collaboration with Rumblefish and Zero Emissions Solutions. Extracts from this documentary were shown on the 7th and 8th of December 2015 as a side event at the COP21 in Paris.
This Belgian road movie sees presenter Jan Matthys going in search of local solutions to the global problem of climate change. It goes without saying that each step of this journey, from Ghent to Flobecq, Brussels, Houthalen, Liège and beyond, is undertaken using sustainable transport. He visits transition projects tackling areas such as food, energy, transport, construction, etc. which involve not only local authorities but also local people and organisations. Wind power, cycle routes, vegetable gardens, solar panels, local produce markets, roof insulation, waste-wood fired heating networks, and much more besides... There are a great many initiatives in our country and this report will, we hope, inspire the public and politicians alike to turn the COP Paris climate change resolutions into action.
Watch the full movie here.
Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium website.
ICOS ERIC inauguration in the Belgian news!
Read about the ICOS ERIC inauguration in the Belgian news:
Rescue operation from ecosystem tower in Brasschaat
On Saturday November 28th, a spectacular rescue operation was performed by the specialized GRIMP team, together with the fire brigades of Brasschaat and Kontich. The GRIMP (RED) team is specialized in rescue and interventions at difficult locations. The ICOS ecosystem tower (BE-Bra) with its 40 meter height in the middle of the forest in Brasschaat definitely qualifies as a difficult location. Two brave victims were rescued from the highest platform of the tower. Luckily this was all a planned exercise and everything ended well!
25 - 27 November 2015: ICOS ETC - PI meeting (Todi)
The ETC organized a meeting for the Principal Investigators (PI's) of the ICOS ecosystem sites from 25 until 27 November 2015. 75 PI's from 8 different member countries participated in a very fruitful and constructive meeting.
ICOS ERIC established by European Commission
The European Commission has officially established the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS ERIC), a new pan-European environmental research infrastructure which aims to provide long-term carbon and greenhouse gas observations across the Europe.
ICOS ETC Training Session on Ancillary Data Collection: Presentations available
The presentations given at the training session are now available:
- Introduction (Marc Aubinet & Bert Gielen)
- Overview of the protocols (including spatial sampling design, theoretical background of methods, temporal sampling design, ...):
- Presentation of the Walloon ecosystem sites: Vielsalm, Lonzee and Dorinne (Marc Aubinet)
- Presentation of the Flanders ecosystem sites: Brasschaat, Lochristi and Maasmechelen (Marilyn Roland)
- Short presentation on the BADM template (Emmy Jacobs)
Update Maasmechelen ICOS ecosystem site
An update on the construction works of the Maasmechelen ICOS ecosystem site. As you can see, work is moving along nicely.
The construction will be finished by the end of September 2015.
ICOS RI newsletter
A new edition of the ICOS RI newsletter is ready, bringing you news from the ICOS community and announcing upcoming events.
We hope you'll find it to be an interesting read.
Download the Newsletter
A new site in a unique ecosystem!
The construction works of the third ICOS ecosystem site of the University of Antwerp have started! The site will be constructed in National Park de Hoge Kempen in Maasmechelen. The National Park is especially known for its heather vegetation. This new ecosystem site will be the only heath ecosystem site within the ICOS Ecosystem Network. The construction will be finished by the end of September 2015.
25 - 27 November 2015: ICOS ETC - PI meeting (Italy)
A meeting will be organized by the ETC in central Italy on November 25-27 2015 for the Principal Investigators (PI's) of the official ICOS ecosystem sites.
Topics that will be discussed are:
- The modus operandi of the ICOS ecosystem network
- How to initiate the ICOS measurements/data transfer protocols at your ecosystem site
- The ICOS labeling procedure
27 - 29 September 2016: 2nd ICOS RI Science Conference (Helsinki)
Mark your calendars: The 2nd ICOS RI Science Conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland on 27-29th September, 2016.
Pre-conference event is organized on 26th September 2016.
More details to follow soon.
27 May 2015: Symposium on Heathland C Sequestration
27 th May, 2015 | Hasselt University
Agoralaan, Building D | auditorium H 5
Heathlands are very fragile ecosystems, that are vulnerable to both land-use change and human-made eutrophication. The two main ecosystem services they provide, tourism and C sequestration, are therefore as well under threat. These services are dependent on the pace of soil nutrient cycles, that are, directly or not, controlled by the activity of soil organisms. Very little is known on the biotic and abiotic factors that actually regulate this activity. It is therefore very difficult to predict if climate change will, or not, accelerate the decline of heathland's ecosystem services.
This symposium aims at discussing future research directions on this topic.
- Natalie Beenaerts, UHasselt
- Nele Witters, UHasselt
- Mark Smits, UHasselt
- Francois Rineau, UHasselt
- Frederik de Laender, UNamur
- Richard Bardgett, Manchester University
|14:00||The construction of the ecotrons|
|14:15||Studying heathland ecosystems: their patrimonial value in Belgium|
|14:45||Heathland ecosystem services: an economical perspective|
|15:35||A major ecosystem service in heathlands: C sequestration|
|16:05||Soil organisms as drivers of C and nutrient cycles in heathland ecosystems|
|16:35||Linking organisms to ecosystem functions: modelling food webs|
|17:05||How are microbial communities affected by climate change? What could be the consequences on ecosystem functioning?|
|17:35||Wrap-up and conclusion|
2 - 12 June 2015: ICOS-NEON Greenhouse Gas Data Training Workshop (Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France)
This 10-day course will train early career scientists (including advanced PhD students, postdocs, and Junior Faculty) in the discovery and use of in-situ data to address emerging issues in carbon cycle science including atmospheric science, biogeochemistry and ecosystem science.
World-class scientists will provide hands-on instruction in the use of 'big data' from the ICOS and NEON observatories while discussing the frontier of carbon science and promoting the discovery of new research opportunities. Bert Gielen is member of the organizing committee.
More information: http://carbonws2015.sciencesconf.org/
23 November 2014: Science Day - Lochristi Open House
Guided tour of the largest bio-energy plantation of Belgium
Location: Bosstraat 31, 9080 Lochristi.
Further information in this invitation (only in Dutch).
ETC-Belgium represented at AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco from 9-13 December 2013
To increase the visibility of the ETC among the scientific community a presentation with the title: Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) ecosystem network: current state and future perspectives by Gielen et al. was presented by dr. Bert Gielen from the ETC in Antwerp at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco, USA on 9-13 December 2013 during a session dedicated to long-term observation networks.
The ETC and NEON signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last June. The MoU is a written agreement to consolidate the cooperation and interaction between both networks.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ICOS - ETC (Integrated Carbon Observation System - Ecosystem Thematic Center) and NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network) last June.
The MoU establishes a framework for discussion and collaboration between the two long-term ecological monitoring networks. The signing parties agree to cooperate in broad areas such as scientific program coordination, general program management and data interoperability. More specifically this could include standardization of protocols and resulting measurements as well as sharing of codes and analytical tools for managing data products.
The main objectives are to build up and facilitate partnerships, to identify collaboration opportunities, to develop Implementing Agreements and to share data, information and updates on technology applications, information delivery and development.
Agreements such as this are necessary to help facilitate the use of data across monitoring networks.
The partners met at the final ICOS Annual Meeting of the ICOS Preparatory Phase Project (ICOS-PPP) in Biarritz from March 25 - 27 2013 to discuss the general and scientific outlines of the MoU. In May 2013 the legal aspects were agreed upon and the MoU was finalized and signed mid-June 2013.
Flemish participation in ESFRI formally launched
On 7 May 2012 the Flemish participation in ESFRI was formally launched by Ingrid Lieten, Flemish Minister for Innovation, Government Investment, Media and Poverty Reduction. An investment of 3.5 million euro was promised to support the four Flemish ESFRI's:
- European Social Survey (ESS; KU Leuven)
- Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE; UA)
- Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS; UA)
- LIFEWATCH (VLIZ, INBO)
The Flemish media gathered at the foot of the 40m scaffolding tower of the Brasschaat Ecosystem Station of ICOS, where the official launch was held.