Summer School

The 2021 Summer School took place 6-16 October in Peyresq, Frace.
Open to graduate and postgraduate scientists (as well as professionals in related fields), the Alternet Summer School provides an innovative atmosphere for considering and resolving the sustainability challenges that society is currently facing.

Peyresq, a picturesque village in the Haute-de-Provence Alpes, provides an unparalleled setting for dynamic discussions.

Key topics include: 

  • Biodiversity loss and conservation
  • Ecosystem services, ecosystem service valuation, and nature’s contributions to people 
  • The biodiversity science-policy interface 
  • Inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to ecosystem sciences 
  • Working with stakeholders to foster transformative change

Registration closed.

About the Alternet Summer School

The Alternet Summer School has been held in Peyresq, France annually since 2006. In close partnership with the Peyresq Foundation, we’ve hosted 32 international students each summer for a dynamic, immersive learning experience. 

Summer School themes

Biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history–and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating. This translates into grave impacts for people around the world (IPBES, 2019). 

The Alternet Summer School focuses on the challenge of biodiversity conservation, taking a systemic perspective. Our Summer School programmes explore: 

  • Drivers of biodiversity change
  • Ecological knowledge and social science approaches for conservation
  • Ecosystem service concepts, including ecosystem service valuation, and nature’s contributions to people
  • Science-policy interfaces, including IPBES and Eklipse
  • Working with stakeholders to foster transformative change

Summer School participation

The summer school is open to graduate students, post-graduate scientists and professionals from related fields. Partners from both Alternet network institutes and beyond are welcome to apply.

The Summer School is open to graduate and post-graduate scientists from both within and outside the Alternet network partners, as well as professionals in related fields. This year’s summer school is limited to 20 participants.

Please note that adequate English skills are required and all participants are expected to prepare and present a poster on their own work.


The village of Peyresq is a rustic, picturesque site in the French Alps (Alpes de Haute-Provence) situated about 1520m above sea level. The village is partly owned and managed by the European Association for Culture and for Artistic and Scientific Humanism Peyresq Foyer d’Humanisme, a Brussels-based philanthropic foundation which has assigned the village as a location for scientific and cultural meetings.

Peyresq has hosted the Alternet Summer Schools each year since 2006.

Summer School 2021

After two years without an Alternet Summer School following last year’s cancellation, the 2021 Alternet Summer School–held this year in Autumn–was a vibrant and dynamic success. Read a recap of the 2021 Summer School experience.

How to Apply

To apply for this year’s Summer School, please complete the online application form. At the end of the application period, the conveners will assess all applications and contact each applicant with their decision.

Registration currently closed.


Most of the costs of the Summer School are covered by Alternet but students are asked to contribute: €850. This covers full attendance at the summer school and all local costs, including accommodation, meals, refreshments, and field trips. Travel costs must be covered by the participants or by their institution.

A small number of support grants to waive part or all of the student contribution are available for students from developing countries.

Contact us

For all enquiries concerning the Summer School, please contact:

"A modern-day School of Aristotle, where lecturers learn as much as students - if not more."

Martin SharmanSummer School speaker

Summer School Conveners

Allan Watt

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Marie Vandewalle

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Uta Frisch

Eurac Research

Nicolas Dendoncker

University of Namur

Brooke Wilkerson

University of Bergen