Happy New Year 2015


Feuerzangenbowle – burning the booze – photo by Rolf’s daughter Brooke

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Royal Society of Canada are pleased to announce a call for nominations for the Konrad Adenauer Research Award 2015. The Award is conferred annually and recognises the entire academic record to date of an internationally renowned Canadian researcher in the Humanities or Social Sciences. Nominations for the award must identify academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and beyond, and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge academic achievements in future. The deadline is March 1, 2015. For more information please see the attached document or visit http://rsc-src.ca/en/fellows/medals-awards/rsc-medals-awards.


Banff Centre Vista

Symposium on Earth

The Symposium on Earth was the fourth national meeting organized by the Humboldt Association of Canada (HAC).  The Symposium registration, at approximately fifty scientists, was similar to registration for the previous three Kollegs.  The first HAC national event, the Symposium on Water, was also held at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta in 2005.

The programme of the Symposium centered on the theme of Earth.  The invited keynote speakers (Prof. Dr. Helmut Echtler, Universitaet Potsdam; Prof. Dr. Inga Moeck, University of Alberta), addressed the broad theme, EARTH, from geological perspectives, but skillfully translated their special knowledge to engage the interests of everyone present. Proffered presentations by delegates rounded out these themes by introducing philosophical, sociological, paleontological, chemical and engineering views of ‘Earth’.  The program included both full assemblies and concurrent sessions, and with ample time for discussion following individual papers, over refreshments and at social events.

One highlight of the Symposium was the participation of Consul-General Sitz (Vancouver), who opened the Symposium and participated in all aspects of the program.  The opening session served not only to welcome the delegates, but also to outline Humboldt-oriented activities in Canada – Professor Kennepohl describing the objectives and activities of HAC the Humboldt Foundation Liaison Office Canada (HFLOC).  Dr. Chow read out a letter of welcome sent by Dr. Amian (AvH, Bonn).

The Symposium again provided a rare opportunity for HAC to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM; required under incorporation regulations) with nationwide participation. The AGM was called to order by HAC President Kennepohl at 08:30 May 11, 2014A quorum of thirty members was declared.  Discussions centered primarily on the need for improved promotion of HAC and the national HAC Symposia, intra-HAC communications and even constitutional issues.  Officers elected (all by acclamation) included Prof. Chung-Wai Chow (President), Prof. Anshuman Khare (Treasurer), Prof. Siegfried F. Stiemer (Webmaster), Prof. Leonard I. Wiebe (Secretary), Prof. Dietmar Kennepohl  (Past-President) and Prof. Rolf Mathewes (Vice-President). (Excerpt of the Secretary’s Report, Leonard I. Wiebe).

More >

News from the Humboldt Foundation


The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation sponsors academic cooperation among excellent foreign and German academics. Annually, it grants more than 700 research fellowships and research awards that enjoy an outstanding reputation across the globe.

The Foundation‘s research fellowships and awards provide funding to suit every career situation. More news from the foundation>

First Conference of the Cities & Climate Change Network

Dear Alumnus of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation,cities

With the support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the three undersigned alumni have established a new network of researchers and practitioners – the “Alexander von Humboldt Cities and Climate Change Network”.

The network aims to inform scientific and policy discourses, and to promote research and innovations based on exchange and cooperation among network members. The network also aspires to propose thoughtful solutions to the interrelated issues of urban development, energy, and global climate change.

More than 40 Alexander von Humboldt alumni worldwide have already joined the network.

The first conference of the Cities and Climate Change Network will take place on October 5-7, 2011 at the
Freie Universität Berlin. At the conference, we will review and assess existing knowledge in these areas and
plan long-term cooperation, research and outreach among the broader Humboldt community related to the
issues of global climate change and urbanization.

Following the 2011 conference in Berlin, we envision a broad range of additional meetings of network
members, continued communication, coordination, and future research collaboration.

We would like to invite you, as an alumnus of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, to join the “Cities
and Climate Change Network” and to participate in the conference and the planned network activities.

If you have already published work that relates to the following thematic areas:
1) Urban risks and consequences of climate change
2) Urban climate change mitigation and adaptation
3) Urban climate governance

Medearis_300Kindly send one or more of your abstracts to Dale Medearis: dmedearis@zedat.fu-berlin.de.

If your work and interests pertain to the interrelated issue of global climate change and urbanization, we
invite you to join the Alexander von Humboldt Cities and Climate Change Network, and we would be very
happy to welcome you at the conference in Berlin this October.

Please send all correspondence or questions related to the network and the conference to


With kindest regards,

Prof. Avi Gottlieb Dr. Dale Medearis Nathaniel Scheer
Tel Aviv University Northern Virginia Regional Commission Free University Berlin

Letter from the DAAD


Dear Humboldtians,

I am writing to you from the DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service . The DAAD is a joint organization of the German Universities. The purpose of the DAAD is to promote relations between German universities and comparable institutions abroad, primarily through the exchange of students, academics and researchers.
A striking feature of the academic exchange with North America is the low number of students from the United States and Canada who study in Germany, while those countries are favorite destinations for German students. This imbalance can be recognized especially in the natural sciences. Apparently there is a lack of study abroad offers which are attractive to North American students. Therefore, the DAAD developed a new program – RISE (Research Internships in Science and engineering) – which will enable undergraduate students in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science and Engineering to visit Germany during the summer break and work together with a German Ph.D. student in the respective field. The internship will provide the students with the opportunity to gain a lot of practical and theoretical experiences in research, to experience German university life while visiting Germany and to improve their language skills. The program is supported by the German Botanical Society (DBG), the German Zoological Society (GZS), the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the German Physical Society (DPG), the GeoUnion – Alfred-Wegener-Stiftung and the German Association of Engineers (VDI). Detailed information about the program will be available soon on our website .
We hope that this program is also of interest to the students from your university and we would be grateful if you could inform your undergraduate students about this new opportunity. For your information I enclose as attachments the call for proposals and a little flyer which could be handed out to the students or used as a poster.
The next step will be to check the interest for the new program in Canada and the United States. Interested students should send an e-mail to knieps@daad.de. These students will be included in a distribution list and will be informed by end of January about the available internships. If they are interested in one of the offers they will then have to submit a short application form. The applications will be forwarded to the host laboratories which will select the successful candidates.

I hope that I could raise your interest in our new program and I would be very grateful if you could help us to circulate the information. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Sincerely yours

Christian Schaefer

Letter from our Secretary

Dear Colleagues;avh-104

In an effort to keep things rolling, we have expanded the Executive to include regional representatives (as suggested by many of you and your colleagues). Some of you may be surprised to see your name on the list as members-at-large (MAL), representing specific communities of AvHers. We can remove it if you prefer, but your inclusion is based on your expressed interest in HAC matters. We hope you can stay and help us build a vibrant HAC. It is a big country, and it is probably better to have too many rather than too few regions represented, so we should consider including additional reps.

One objective of this note is to provide each of you with a list of the ‘executive’ (see link). The list may be a bit confusing, as it is a conversion from table format to ‘plain text.

A second is to remind/inform you of our new website (www.HumboldtCanada.com). Items of interest to the HAC/AvH community should be sent to Sigi for uploading to the website.

Finally, to let you know that we have a small local committee that is working toward a May 11-13, 2005 NATIONAL HAC CONFERENCE. We have a ‘footprint’ booking at the Banff Centre, and are working to develop a budget that will provide a partial subsidy for ACTIVE MEMBERS (CURRENT SUGGESTED annual membership $30). We have proposed that all Ehemahliger are HAC members; active (fee paying) members will be enfranchised and have other benefits such as subsidies to attend the (bi)annual meeting; the subsidies in question are those sponsored by HAC through its resources and should not be confused with programs (and subsidies) of the AvH Stiftung.

I plan one more general (national) mailing to the Fellows on my list. The objective will be to let them know (again; Gernot mentioned it in his letter) about the website, and to generate some enthusiasm for HAC activities, including getting a few more regional MAL’s.

Best wishes, Len Wiebe