click image to download registration form

Click to download final program and abstracts.

Click to download registration form.


The theme for this Kolleg is EARTH and follows our series of successful national symposia with the elemental themes of Water (Banff, 2005), Fire (Ottawa, 2009) and Air (Vancouver, 2011).

This multidisciplinary symposium is organized by the Humboldt Association of Canada (HAC) and will include academics, researchers, scholars, leading scientists, and government officials from Canada and Germany. The Kolleg will also feature various prominent keynote speakers, as well as various brief presentations and discussion forums around the theme of earth from Humboldt Fellows.

The symposium will also take the opportunity to promote the programmes of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn) to young Canadian scholars, while allowing them to network with alumni of those programmes.

Kolleg Organizing Committee


The Conference is held at the Banff Centre, in Banff, Alberta, Canada ( The Centre provides a comfortable setting nestled in one of the most picturesque environments in North America, convenient to hiking and other forms of outdoor recreation.

The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Box 1020
Banff, Alberta, Canada
T1L 1H5
Phone: 403.762.6435
Toll Free:  1.877.760.4595
(Canada & U.S.A)
Fax: 403.762.6202

For how to get to the Banff Centre please see:

Enjoying Banff

A great website answering all your questions and inspiring pleasurable activities is available at:


Click to download final program and abstracts.

Program --- The following is a tentative schedule of events.

May 9  Arrival of Delegates
16:00-18:00     Registration
18:00               Welcome to Delegates and Opening Reception

May 10 Opening Ceremonies
08:30   Introductions and greetings
09:00  Keynote: Prof. Dr. Helmut Echtler (Universität Potsdam): “The Neogene and active tectonics of the Central Anatolian Plateau, Turkey” 
--------- Plus a report on the geoscientific studies within the TOPOEUROPE program including VAMP (Vertical Anatolian Movement Project) and the new EU - ITN ALerT Project

10:00 Refreshments

10:30  Concurrent academic presentations: Humanities 1

Michael Herren, "Did the Dark Ages Really Believe the Earth was Flat?"
Dennis Danielson, "Imagining a Planetary Earth and Why it was so Hard"
Lara Apps, "Gender of Earth"

10:30  Concurrent academic presentations: Engineering 1

U. Sundararaj, "Polymer Nanocomposites Containing Material from Earth: Carbon Nanotubes, Clay and Block Copolymer for Dielectric and EMI Shielding Applications"
Milana Trifkovic, "Sustainable Energy Systems: Process Systems Engineering Perspective"
J.M. Floryan, "Induced Polarization Effects in Liquid Droplets"

Lunch break

13:15  Concurrent academic presentations: Humanities 2

Iain Provan, "Religion and the Care of the Earth: Two Common Beliefs Critically Appraised"
Steve Lofts, "Cassirer and Heidegger on Earth, Dwelling and World"
Gernot Wieland, "Earth to Earth: Plowing through the Etymologies of 'Earth'-related Words"

13:15  Concurrent academic presentations:  Science 1

S.R. Valluri, "Thermoelectric Energy Sources for Environmentally Benign Power Generation and Reduction of Air Pollution"
Thomas Baumgartner, "From Earth to Advanced Functional Materials: Organophosphorus Avenues toward Sustainable Energy Applications"
Eric Pinnington, "The Story of Rare Earths from their Academic Interest in the 20th Century to their Current Economical Importance"

14:45   Refreshments

15:15 Keynote: Prof. Dr. Inga Moeck (University of Alberta): “Tap the heat: Research in geothermal technologies”
----- Discover how exciting research in the field of geothermal energy could transform the way we utilize sustainable energy and join us in envisioning our future energy diversification.

16:15   Excursion to Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs (Hot Baths or walking).

19:00   Symposium Dinner (Reception at 19:00; dinner at 20:00)

May 11
09:00   HAC Business Meeting

09:30   Latest news from the Humboldt Foundation

10:00 Refreshments
10:30  Concurrent academic presentations: Science 2

David Begun, "The Changing Earth and the Origin of Earthlings"
Rolf Mathewes, "Fossils Illuminate Earth's Past, Present, and Future"
Jan Veizer, "Planetary Temperature and Climate across Geological Time Scales"

10:30 Concurrent academic presentations: Medicine/Business 1

 Frank W. Stahnisch, "On the Geographical Perspective in Medicine: Preventive Medicine and Climate Change between 1200 and 1900"
Anshuman Khare, "Smart Cities, Smarter Society"

12:00   ALL Final Assembly and Closing Remarks

12:30 Lunch and Departure of Delegates



Call for Papers - is now closed.


The conference includes meals and two nights accommodation.  There is no conference registration fee for Humboldt alumni. However, for planning and ordering purposes we request that you register here by 30 November.



Accommodation registration directly with the Banff Centre has been arranged and notices went out to the registrants. The Humboldt Association of Canada will cover basic Friday and Saturday evening accommodations. For how to get to the Banff Centre please see: