2019 Lithuania

EUGEN 2019 took place near Meskasalis, Alytus region in southern Lithuania. Around 120 participants from 15 different countries came together to experience the 24th EUGEN meeting since it started in 1996 and the third one in Lithuania.

Field trips:

Southeastern lithuanian sandy plain

The trip lead, accompanied by a bus, to Marcinkonys and the surrounding area. We learned about the gaidziai dune (kloniai hill) which, according to legends elders commonly tell, was named because of roosters bathing in the sand here (gaidziai = rooster). The dune is still moving in parts where no plant could root deep enough to stop the eolian erosion and it’s slowly burying the neighbouring village. The sand probably formed during the last glacial period and was then morphed by wind until plant growth was strong enough to prevent further movement. In southern Lithuania most older houses and buildings are constructed with the abundant pine wood, while in the north there is also clay outcropping near the surface, not only sand, to make bricks for constructions. Wood carving is therefore a traditional craft and a lot of statues or carved ornaments can be seen throughout the villages. One artist took it even further and created his own museum which we visited, with meter high wooden statues. By foot we continued to the cepkeliai wetland state nature reserve, first to the visitor centre where we learned about the different flora and fauna endemic in this bog and swamp complex. Later another hike lead us as far onto the fringe of the reserve as visitors are allowed and from two viewpoints, we could observe the protected area which is stretching across the borders of Lithuania and Belarus.

The Kayak trip

The field trip was undertaken in two-person kayaks on the river Merkys The water really was cold but nonetheless the trip was a unique experience. During the trip we saw the rare blue kingfisher darting over the water, other birds, several different species of dragonflies, insects and fish could be observed. Along the meandering river, layers of sand in varying colours accompanied the shore. Along the way we found the Kukiskis chalk pit and an abandoned area where soviet forces started excavating chalk until only after a few years the effort was given up again. At the bottom of the Jurassic chalk, flint can be found, sometimes containing belemnites and other fossils, below that drilling cores showed Jurassic glauconite sand and black clay. We continued to Baltulis Hill, a cliff shore in a narrow river loop. The outcrop shows the geological record from the last ice age up until today. Dark layers show muddy slow-moving water or lakes with logs dated at 13,700 years age and folded layers show earthquakes and isostatic processes after the ice shields melted. The fluvial sediments are covered by thick wind-blown sand layers. After an exhausting paddling trip, tired, happy and lucky the weather wasn’t as bad as forecasted, we got on shore again and the bus took us back to the camp.

Nemunas Loop national park and Secret of Devil’s Pit

This field trip lead to the longest river in Lithuania and it’s beautiful and unique landscape.

The culture trip

lead to the nearby city of Druskininkai which is famous for their spa and hot springs. During our visit a local artist market, where Lithuanian craft and trade was shown and sold, took place.

The presentations were about several different topics. Research on Geohazards in Africa, the work of the Lithuanian Geological Survey, analysis of iron ore deposits, radioactive granites, meteorite impact craters and other secrets of southern Lithuanian geology, seismotectonic framework and seismic activity in the intracratonic setting in the Baltic Basin, what a hydrogeologist is doing in Lithuania, and about Holocene debris flows in the mountain valleys of the Kola Peninsula.

Mario, who visited Pakistan this year was talking about his trip and auctioned off some gifts he brought to support the Marrott Welfare Trust who supports Pakistani children in need.

Since everyone for the last three years just coincidentally thought that Germany would host the 25th EUGEN next year, the Germans decided to fight among themselves about the German region in which EUGEN should take place. With two very fascinating regions to choose the final vote was up to the EUGENeers and in the end the promise to try to return to the original camping grounds of the very first EUGEN 1996 prevailed, and we will meet again in Schwarzwald!

Fun fact: Every time Lithuania hosted an EUGEN so far, Germany was next in line (2001+2002, 2011+2012, 2019+2020)

2018 Austria

EUGEN 2018 took place near Sittersdorf in Carinthia, southern Austria. About 100 participants from 14 different countries came together to experience the 23rd EUGEN meeting since it started in 1996 and the first one ever in Austria. Our hosts secured a spot near the Sonegger lake where just weeks before a big music festival took place, which lead us to be able to use their luxurious hot shower and washing container. Unfortunately, the weather was too hot and dry to have a campfire in the evenings.

There were four fieldtrips:

Obir dripstone caves in the southeast of Carithia

within the Hochobir massif in the Karavanken Mountains. The mines were discovered by miners and used for exploration of ore deposits. Also signs of tectonic activity in form of mirror faults can be observed here.

Krappenfeld Area and Klagenfurt basin

Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark. We visited the information centre in Bad Eisenkappel where we got a first impression and overview of the whole area. Afterwards the trip continued to the Trögerner gorge with its bizarre dolomite rock formations and the forest reserve Potok. We followed the gorge to the Potokgraben in the south where the gorge splits in trenches following a fault zone. Here we saw red coloured breccia originating from a rockfall upstream in Slovenia. Our last stop was at the Wildenstein waterfall where some fearless EUGENeers took a shower under the 54 meters high free-falling stream of cold water — one of the highest in Europe. Under the pool at the base of the waterfall Jurassic limestones could be observed.

Nature Park Dobratsch

The bus took us to the so-called Rote Wand (red wall) on the southern flank of Dobratsch where catastrophic rockslides related to neotectonic events along the Periadriatic Fault System took place. In 1348 approximately 150 m³ of rocks slid down the slope and created a large debris fan which blocked the river Gail in the valley. After that we continued to Rosstratte Viewpoint where we could observe the peak of Dobratsch and the surrounding area and had an introduction into the geology and morphology of the region. Last stop was a guided tour through the still active Jakomini Quarry where greenish Badstub Breccia is mined for road construction.

Culture trip to the Excavation Site Hemmaberg

The site featured ruins and foundations of settlements dating back to 400 AD. A nearby grotto dedicated to St. Rosalia was a famous place of pilgrimage for meditation and the spring was supposed to have healing powers. After that we visited the accompanying museum in the village of Globasnitz where we learned more about the history and excavations. Nearby was another famous sight, the home-made Castle of Elberstein which had been created by a local carpenter for the last 28 years in his free time.

Through the efforts of the orga team a bunch of gifts were donated to our cause by companies. Among them an Estwing rock hammer and several mineral samples. In a grand auction these items were flogged off to support our finances.

The sportiest among our Austrian hosts felt called upon to design games for the geolympics which then took place in the midday heat.

In the evenings several lectures took place, which taught us about regional geology and about the German society of GeStEIN and on how to combat declining student numbers. For entertainment later we were had a geo-rapper and a professional science slammer as our guests.

After some discussions with the Lithuanian group they gladly accepted the responsibility and with a humorous video won the favour of the participants. Next year we meet in Lithuania!

Also, the Croatians offered to organise the EUGEN New Year’s meeting in the mountains of Croatia, that we’re looking forward to.

2017 Croatia

EUGEN 2017 took place near Karlovac, northern Croatia near the border to Slovenia. Around 110 participants from 15 different nations came together to experience the 22nd EUGEN meeting since it started in 1996 and the second one in Croatia.

Our hosts discovered a beautiful small patch of spacy forest directly at the shore of a river which was, while difficult to reach by car, an EUGENeers dream camping area. Lots of space to put up your hammock, crystal clear warm water to swim and relax, small waterfalls just a few hundred meters upstream and lots of sunny and shady spots either way you preferred it.

Skrad and Gorski kotar

In this field trip we learned about the Permian clastics and nappe tectonics, we explored the source of the river Dobra in upper Triassic clastics and carbonates. We saw reverse faulting of the youngest tectonic phase and lower Jurassic carbonates and the Curak canyon folds. Later we saw the green whirlpool and how the canyon and normal faulting formed. The last stop was Muzeva Hiza cave. 

Mount Velebit

The second field trip led us there , where we saw karstic areas with caves and waterfalls.

In the evening lectures and presentations, we learned about the karstic areas of Croatia and the complex structures of Karst and groundwater flows which formed the unique underground and caves and, from one Professor even learned how they calculate how old said caves are.

Not even the one rainy evening could stop us from enjoying every moment we spent in Croatia. The terrific weather allowed us to let two games of the geolympics take place in the river.

The Culture trip lead to the Karlovac and Aquatika it’s freshwater aquarium, the largest in this part of Europe, and the independence war museum Turanj.

Two countries applied to organise the next year’s EUGEN and in a suspenseful vote the EUGENeers decided for Austria over Spain as the next hosts for us. We still hope for an EUGEN in Spain maybe another year soon. But first, see you next year in Austria!

2016 Belgium

EUGEN 2016 took place near Kinrooi, northern Belgium. Abound 100 participants from 13 different nations came together to experience the 21st EUGEN meeting since it started in 1996 and the first one ever to take place in Belgium. Our hosts not only prepared a nice and huge grassy field as our camping are, many of them being scouts they also built a big circus like tent from scratch, knowing very well the always changing and unreliable weather of the region.

Prepared like this, the slight but constant trickle of rain from Monday until Thursday didn’t affect neither the mood nor the enthusiasm of us EUGENeers and everyone stoically went about their way like a good geologist should.

Three field trips were prepared:

Applied Geology

A technical excursion to VITO, Sibelco and the Beringen site. The trip took us to VITO geothermal plant, one of the largest of its kind to be built in Europe. After a general introduction about geothermal energy, the Balmatt project and the local geology, we visited the Balmatt drilling rig and got more detailed first-hand information about the drilling process. The second stop was Sibelco, a company active in mineral extraction and production mainly of quartz, cristobalite, nepheline, plastic clay and olivine. The last stop was Beringen where we learned about the history of coal mining in Belgium and the closing of mining pits and renaturation of mining overburden.

Cenozoic Soft Sediments of northern Belgium

First stop was Bierbeer and the Eocene Brussels Formation. The sands were deposited by the infill of an estuarium from east to west. A lot of different sedimentary structures could be observed. Pellenberg was the second stop. This quarry shows a stratigraphic section of the Rupelian Transgression with marine glauconitic sands at the base topped by soil formed during the next short regression. On top lays a long transgressic pulse with chocolate brown layers which has been interpreted either as ancient oil seep or soil layer. The next stop was the Kesselberg outcrop, the Miocene Dienst Formation. Here we saw the deposit of an opening of the Calais sea strait in a period of erosion. This incision lead to a high energy deposit environment. The sand banks had been preserved thanks to rapid emersion and iron-crust formation. Lastly we stopped near Rumst where the oligocene Boom Clay can be found. Characteristic is its consistent, very fine layered build-up. The layers formed from alteration of more clayey and more silty horizons and also from the amount of carbonates and organics varies.

Paleozoic hard rock of southern Belgium

The trip first lead to the Variscan front at the Citadel of Namur where the frontal thrust and the results of the sedimentary and tectonic processes during the Carboniferous can be observed. Next stop was the Resteigne quarry at the southern border of the Dinant Synclinorium. Here we saw an abundance of mid-Devonian limestone formations and their karstic phenomena which leads to the characteristic ecological biodiversity in this area.

And a cultural trip lead to the city of Leuven

Considering the weather conditions a small group spontaneously organised their own field trip. And under the guidance of our trusty long-time EUGENeer Mario we crossed the nearby border to the Netherlands to visit the famous Cafetaria ‘t Pleintje of the movie phenomenon ‘New Kids’ in Maaskantje, ate original Dutch fries and, for the more hydrogeologically interested minds, explored the very fascinating hot springs and pools of the aqua parc in Den Bosch.

In the evening lectures and presentations were held among them PhD Students presenting their work and non-student participants sharing experiences of their everyday work environment. Furthermore, the Geology of Russia and in addition to that the Gubkin Russian State University were presented, and we learned about the ÖGG’s (Austrian geomechanics association) effort for their student chapter.

In time for the geolympics on Thursday the weather cleared up and in nice and sunny conditions our official geoscientific team-building event commenced. The evening was rounded up by karaoke, campfire under the night sky and testing of several different sorts of the famous Belgian beer.

Our hosts of course didn’t forget our well-being concerning food. The highlight of our dinner experience was no doubt when one evening a Belgian Fries friterie on wheels turned up at the campsite and there was Belgian Fries in any way imaginable until everyone was too stuffed to care about the mosquitoes harassing us in the evening.

All in all, a memorable EUGEN which showed us all the beautiful things Belgium has to offer. We want to thank the orga-team very much for the great efforts they took to make this week unforgettable for everyone. And we will be happy to see all of you again next year in Croatia!

2015 Poland

The 20th anniversary of the EUGEN meeting took place in Poland during the first week of August. The campsite was located close to the village Stryśow which is about ¾ hour drive away from Krakow. It was a big area situated in the middle of a forest. We were provided with many scout tents scattered around the main building where meals were served, lectures were held, and most important, the Udra Udra ceremony was celebrated every evening. Because of very warm nights putting up a hammock and sleeping outside was a good opportunity for those who wanted to avoid snoring tent mates. A very nice feature of the campsite was a fireplace, where we spent most of the evenings at a bonfire with lots of singing, playing the guitar and, of course, enjoying polish beer.     EUGEN 2015 was a great opportunity to learn something about the geology of southern Poland. Three fieldtrips which focused on different aspects of geosciences were organised by the Orgateam. All EUGEN attendees were split up in two groups, so everyone could do all the fieldtrips in different order.   A very impressive field trip led us to the Wielicka Salt Mine, which is located close to Krakow.Geologically, these evaporites are part of the carpathian foredeep and were deposited during the Badenium salinity crisis of the Paratethys. While outside everyone was boiling because of temperatures beyond 30°C, we attended a guided tour in the salt mine where we could see many sculptures carved in a very pure form of halite, pass saline lakes and walk through extraordinary huge halls and chapels at very pleasant temperatures.   Another topic covered on one fieldtrip was the geology of the Outer Carpathians which are made of mostly flysch deposits. These jurassic to neogene sediments were deposited in a basin and were overthrusted to a nappe stack during the Alpine orogeny. We visited different locations where typical turbiditic lithologies crop out, most impressively a closed quarry where we could also see sediments of an Oceanic Anoxic Event. A special treat of Polands geology was a hiking trip to the Tatra Mountains, Poland ́s highest mountains with altitudes up to 2499m. As a part of the Inner Carpathians, this mountain range is made up of older crystalline basement units with a magmatic and sedimentary cover. Our trip led us to the Kościeliska Valley which cuts through nappes of the younger units that are formed by carbonate sediments but also shales and sandstone. The different resistance of the lithologies lead to an interesting geomorphology with steep walls, so the struggles of hiking at very hot temperatures paid off with special geological features like karst springs and amazing views of the alpine landscape.     The field trip to Zalas quarry was not only interesting for the palaeontologists among us. Here, the transgression of jurassic sediments on permian rhyodacites is seen in a nice profile. The quarry is a perfect destination for those who are usually not that lucky in finding fossils – here you could barely move your hammer without crushing an ammonite. Part of this fieldtrip was also visiting the Ojców National Park that covers an area where many karst phenomena can be observed. One of the more than 700 caves that exist we could also see from the inside, where some speleothemes were developed.     An obligate part of the programme were of course the geolympics where every one could prove his or her skills in different more or less geology-related disciplines. Last but not least, the week was completed with a cultural trip to Krakow, where we could strollaround in the alleyways of a city with a very interesting history.     Unfortunately, this years EUGEN was a bit shaded by health issues summarized under the term „the disease“ that affected at some point basically the whole camp. We want to express our gratitude to the polish team and the cleaning staff of the campsite who had to deal with the toilets.Luckily, everyone survived and we are looking forward to a reunion of the EUGEN community in Belgium 2016!

2014 Slovenia

This year’s Eugen took place in Slovenia. For the second time our Slovene friends invited all European students of geoscience related subjects and all geology enthusiasts to the Komen in south west Slovenia. For this purpose, they had found a nice place in the Karst region (yes Karst that means Limestone) with a lovely house and bar area. On the weekend of arrival many a cheer and hello were to be heard all over the campgrounds as freshmen were being welcomed and old EUGEN mates were welcomed back. It is needless to say that the beer was flowing in streams. The EUGEN-idea has come around a bit in his 19 years history. This reflected well in the great diversity of European nations present at this year’s Eugen, including: Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and Belgium All in all, around 150 participants received their name-tag and welcome pack that consisted of some touristic information brochures about Slovenia, and a EUGEN 2014 program booklet that included welcoming words, general issues of the EUGEN week and extensive descriptions of all the field-trips. 

  • Monday (4th of August)
    Arrival of EUGENeers, synchronizing watches with UBT (Universal Beer Time) and tent building
    Registration and dinner followed by the presentation of the EUGEN 2014 program, fieldtrips, evening debates, Slovenian regional geology, organizers, lecturers and campsite rules
    ‘Welcome to rockland’ party
  • Tuesday (5th of August)
    Breakfast and bus departure at 8:00 AM for the fieldtrips (you will have three fieldtrips to choose from)
  • Wednesday (6th of August)
    Traditional GEOLYMPICS, let the best geologist win!
  • Thursday (7th of August)
    Breakfast and bus departure at 8:00 AM for the fieldtrips (you will have three fieldtrips to choose from)
  • Friday (8th of August)
    – Breakfast and bus departure at 8:00 AM for the fieldtrips (you will have three fieldtrips to choose from)
  • Saturday (9th of August)
    Breakfast and departure of the “cultural and history day bus” for the Slovenian capital city Ljubljana, the really prettiest city in the World (quoted by its major/sheriff Janković).
    Return to the campsite and dinner
    Announcement of the location of EUGEN 2015
  • Sunday (10th of August)
    Hugs, kisses and tears, every “to good to be true” experience has to end someday. Luckily the EUGEN meeting takes place every year
    Goodluck and godspeed!

‘The Karst from above and below’ fieldtrip

There are three different fieldtrips planned for the 2014 EUGEN. One will take us to Škocjanske jame, one of the largest cave systems in Slovenia that is open for tourists. From there we will make a trip over the Karst region of Slovenia and take a look at its geological and geomorphological characteristics.

‘Idrija the region of mercury and žlikrofi’ fieldtrip

The second trip will take us to Slovenians first Geopark Idrija and into the world’s second biggest mercury mine which is listed on the UNESCO heritage list together with the Spanish Almadén. One of many Idrija’s attractions is also the Idrija fault, the alleged culprit for the 1511 earthquake and also one of the geomorphologically most prominent faults in Slovenia.

‘The best view ever’ fieldtrip

Our third trip will take us to the heart of the Slovenian Alps (Julian Alps), where we can learn about the structural geology and stratigraphy of the area. In both aspects the Julian Alps are most interesting, since they are a part of Southern Alps and are as such thrusted towards the south instead of the north and because they are composed almost entirely of limestone deposited on the Julian carbonate platform in the Mesozoic.

Sadly, like all nice things in life this week did come to an end quite quickly. But it was not able to get to an end without one last important thing. The “Next-Years-Election” is necessarily to decide where the future Eugen will be. Unfortunately, there was no country that really applied for this Job. But since everyone got really excited to go to Poland and since the polish people had been pretty brave by taking life changing decisions during the beer hour, they finally decide on Saturday evening to become a next Eugen host. Again, the German Eugen association is really grateful to our polish friends for this step, cause otherwise it could had become a bit difficult to organize the 20th anniversary. Also, a big Thanks goes to all Slovene for their outstanding job during this week especially to Ana und Andrej which probably sacrificed a few years of lifetime to make everything working out that well, again Thank you. We hope to see you all again in 2015 on the 20th Eugen in Poland and maybe some of you earlier during the Eugen new year’s eve, where ever it will be.
Take care!

2013 Italy

Almost every year since 1996, it is nearly a habit for some geoscience students from different countries across Europe, to ‘book’ the first week of August and participate on EUGEN. In 2013, the 16th EUGEN meeting took place in southern Italy, more specific in Calabria and gathered students from Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Finland, Russia and Switzerland. The camp place for the participants was organized in a charming National Park called Sila near the lake Cecita.
This park it is known for its enchanting nature, landscapes, biodiversity heritage and of course geology.

Here is a brief progamme of the event during the whole week long:

Sunday, 4.08.: Arrival
Monday, 5.08.: Presentations
Tueday, 6.08.: Field trips
Wednesday, 7.08.: Field trips
Thursday, 8.08.: Geolympix
Friday, 9.08.: Field Trip
Saturday, 10.08.: Trip to the sea
Sunday, 11.08.: Departure

The program

On Sunday, August 4., was the day of arrivals, though some participants came already on Saturday and took some good spots for their tents

Monday was the official first day when we had presentations about Nacional Park Sila and Calabria in general. We got to know a little better the Italian organizing EUGEN team and in the evening all the others participants.

On Tuesday we started with fieldtrips which were arranged in pairs over three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). Departures were between 7 am and 8 am. The field trips were guided by professors from university of Calabria.

Two of them were on the Sila Massif (the Crocchio Valley and Caloveto – Longobucco), the third one was in coastal range (Mt. Cocuzzo).

 Mt. Cocuzzo

During a hike on Mt. Cocuzzo we observed different tectonic – stratigraphic units of coastal chain. Mt. Cocuzzo is a push-up with well-developed flower structure formed by high-angle N-S striking thrusts. From the top we could clearly see the composition of the Sila Massif which experienced intense tectonic activity (normal and strike-slip faults) expressed in sequence of two Horsts (Coastal chain and Sila Massif) and one graben (Craty Valley)

The Crocchio Valley

In the valley area outcrops a Palaeozoic igneous-metamorphic basement covered with Miocene – Quaternary sediments. They took us to the biggest canyon in Europe – Vally Cupe Canyon and beautiful Campanaro waterfall. The canyon is around 7km long with walls that can reach up to 100m. Outcropping rocks are mostly carboniferous granites and Oligocene-Miocene conglomerates and it is a result of fluvial erosion.
Due to an intensive drought that occurred in particularly this time of the year, we were not able to see a waterfall in all its majesty.

Caloveto – Longobucco

In this area is a series of tectonic plates constituted by portions of crystalline basement and sedimentary cover. There are two different groups of sedimentary sequences: the Longobucco Group – it represents the sedimentation from continental basin, and the Acloveto Grouo – it represents high structural marine environments.

Thursday was the Geolympics day. In the morning we went across the street from our campsite to listen to another presentation of the National Park, after that in the afternoon finally the Geolympics started. We were divided in groups where all the participants were mixed together, and we competed in some really fun games:

  • Football with feet tied together
  • Tug of war
  • Spin-around-the-stick
  • Relay race with beer and then hammering a nail

At the end of the games we had a final challenge: we had to make a rope as long as possible with all our clothes and eventually our bodies.

On Saturday we had our last trip before returning home on Sunday. We went to one of the seaside of Calabria where we could swim and visit a lovely castle nearly on water.


For some of us (at least from the last year Slovenian EUGEN team) EUGEN was a fresh new experience. We could not know to what event we were going to participate but i think it was worth it. We got to know a lot of interesting and funny people and with some of them we became very good friends. This is, at least from a point of view, a very good evidence of why this kind of meetings are needed to be preserved and expanded – to allow people from different parts of the world to gather and explore new places through science – in this particular example through geology.

We would like to thank the Italian org. team for an extraordinary work they did during the EUGEN week, even though we ate pasta the whole week.
The camp place was something special: being near the lake permitted some of us (the brave ones) to went swimming during extremely hot days, even though there were a lot of cows and their excrements on the lake’s edge. Because of the high altitude of the park itself, days were very hot and nights quite cold with some unannounced storms. All in all everyone survived this adventure.

The next country that was elected to host the EUGEN meeting in 2014 is Slovenia. So from the Slovenian organizers team and stuff we hope that everybody will have also a great time, that you will see some very interesting geological fieldtrips, explore and get to know our small Slovenia in all its beauty and diversity.

Anja, Teja

2011 Lithuania


The 16th EUGEN meeting took place from 1st – 7th August 2011 in Lithuania for the second time. The Lithuanian team organized the event on the Duburys Lake Island in the north-eastern part of Lithuania. Approximately 80 geosciences’ students from 15 countries, including Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and last, but not least the Taiwan. The campsite was located in the Zarasai district, an area known to host 70% of Lithuania’s lakes.

The fee or this week was 80 € for people from countries that are considered to range above Lithuania’s level according to the International Money Fund list, and 60 € for people from other countries.

Trip 1. Devonian–Quarternary. North of Lithuania. Biržai and Pasvalys region. Biržai regional park.

Biržai and Pasvalys region is famous for its beer, karst sinkholes, specific landscape and Biržai castle. This region is rich in culture as well as in unique geological objects. Karst processes and emerging of new sinkholes, called by locals “smegduobės”, welded together Biržai and Pasvalys regions. In this trip you may enjoy sites of Tabokinė, Muoriškė and Velniapilis Devonian outcrops, Kirkiliai laky land, Geologų and Karvės olos sinkholes. You may also see a few hydrogeological points – mineral springs of Smardonė and Likėnai. Another place of interest might be the quaternary boulder field of Judžionys, also known as “Devil seeds”. As a cultural part of this trip, you will be introduced to Biržai castle, Butautų palace, Nemunėlio Radviliškis.

Trip 2. Devonian-Neogene-Quarternary. Anykščiai surroundings – wine cellar and Anykščių boscage. Anykščiai regional park.

Let us start from Miklieriai outcrop, the main ornament of Šventoji landscape nature reserve. Later visit the smaller Šventoji affluent outcrops of Pelyša and Varius. Karalienės liūnas is the hydrogeological monument and one of the biggest freshwater springs in Lithuania. On the other bank of Šventoji river you will find mythological boulder of Puntukas. On the road along the river you will visit Anykščiai quartz quarry, Vetygala outcrop, Kavarskas hydro power plant and magical sinter spring. At the end of this trip you will be delighted by eyeful of brilliant view of Rubikiai lake. Horse museum, Šeiminyškėliai mound and Narrow gauge railway will be also cultural part of this trip.

Day 3. Quarternary. Zarasai district. Gražutė regional park.

Zarasai district (Antalieptė, Salakas, and Dusetos) was a homeland for ancient Baltic tribe Sėliai. You will see the oldest Stelmužė oak tree and get on first geological sightseeing track nearby Šavaša River, which flows to Šventoji oxbow lake near Antalieptė. Antalieptė is famous for the first and biggest mountain type hydro power plant in the Baltic region. After the construction works, 27 lakes were interconnected with each other. Dusetos is located next to the fifth by size Lithuanian lake Sartai. Sartai is tight and branchy lake, made of six tunnel valleys. If you are lucky enough, you may visit the biggest nuclear power plant of former Soviet Union. Moreover, you will be able to pay a tour to Čižo brewery and some more entertaining places, such as abandoned windmills, museum of Energetics, etc.

Day 4. Cultural trip. VILNIUS. VILNIUS? VILNIUS!

Traditional ‘geo olympic’ event will take place during this week. Timetable for all trips and other events as folk or rock festivals will be announced few day before the meeting.

Camping site is open for all participants since 30th of July up to 9th of August. If you want to arrive before or leave after the indicated dates or you need any support or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. We always happy to provide any help for our guests.

All excursions, daily meal and camping site with all facilities (shower, toilets etc.) will be provided by the organizers for all Eugen 2011 participants. For the comfortable stay in Duburys Lake Island you will only need your own toothbrush, sleeping bag and tent. Otherwise you may stay in your friend’s tent, but please note that own toothbrush is highly recommended.

Anyone who takes part in Eugen2011 have a possibility to publish their thesis in Lithuanian geological journal ‘Geologija’. The length of abstracts is limited to four A4 page (with illustrations, references, address etc.), single-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, with 2.5 cm margins. Illustrations will be accepted (black and white). Save illustrations images as JPG files. Upload each figure as a separate file, with the figure number and the top of the figure indicated. Abstracts should be submitted before 1st of June 2011. The abstract book will be available at the meeting. For further information, please contact

Das 16. Treffen des „European Geology Students Network“ (EUGEN) fand vom 1. bis 7. August 2011 auf der „Duburys Lake“ Insel in Litauen statt. Das Treffen bringt seit 1996 jährlich junge Geowissenschaftler aus ganz Europa zusammen. Etwa 80 Teilnehmer aus 15 Ländern waren nach Nord-Litauen gereist. Die angebotenen Geländeexkursionen umfassten vor allem quartärgeologische Fragestellungen aber auch hydrogeologische Phänomene. Eine Exkursion brachte den Teilnehmern Verkarstungsprozesse in der Umgebung von Biržai and Pasvalys nahe. Weitere Exkursionen beinhalteten den Besuch des Šventoji Naturreservates mit der größten Süßwasser Quelle Litauens. Des Weiteren konnte die Umweltverträgliche Energiegewinnung in dem Kavarkas Wasserkraftwerk mit seinen beindruckenden Sinterquellen begutachtet werden. Eine kulturelle Fahrt nach Vilnius und der Besuch des geographischen Mittelpunkts Europas rundete das Exkursionsangebot ab. Das Abendprogramm umfasste Vorträge über die geologische Entwicklung des Baltikums. Desweiteren präsentierten führende litauische Nachwuchswissenschaftler ihre neuesten Erkenntnisse auf dem Gebiet der marinen Geochemie sowie Sedimentologie in der Ostsee. Eine besondere Darbietung stellte der Auftritt des örtlichen Kulturvereins dar, der den Teilnehmern eindrücklich die gelebte Tradition, Kultur und Gastfreundschaft der Litauer zeigte. Trotz des straffen Exkursions- und Vortragsangebots blieb genug Zeit, um bei einem Bier andere Teilnehmer kennenzulernen. Diese Verknüpfung der europäischen Geowissenschaftsstudenten untereinander ist von Beginn an das wichtigste Ziel jedes EUGEN-Treffens. Unser großer Dank gilt den Sponsoren, ohne deren Engagement die EUGEN-Treffen nicht möglich wären; vor allem nicht mit Teilnehmerpreisen, die nach der Wirtschaftskraft des jeweiligen Heimatlandes gestaffelt sind. Das Treffen in Holland wurde u.a. durch Spenden von der Geologischen Vereinigung (GV), der Universität Vilnius, der Lithuanian Geology Union, AB Dolomitas, UAB Hidroterra, UAB InGeo, UAB GreenWorks Industry, UAB GeoBaltic, UAB Vandens gręžiniai, UAB Geotestus und EUGEN e.V. ermöglicht. EUGEN e.V. ist ein eingetragener Verein, dessen Ziele die Förderung der jährlichen Treffen und die Verständigung unter den Teilnehmern sind. Dabei ist die Unterstützung von Teilnehmern aus finanzschwachen EU Ländern ein Schwerpunkt der Vereinsarbeit. Weitere Informationen sind auf abrufbar. Wir bedanken uns bei den Organisatoren und Sponsoren für eine gelungene Veranstaltung und freuen uns auf das nächste EUGEN, das 2012 in Deutschland ausgerichtet werden wird.


This year’s final party was held, of course, at the beach. It was the last of many highlights of EUGEN 2010. Many thanks to the organisers around Lorenc, Orgest, Ervin, Ledio, Erion and Drini and their team who served us perfectly over a week of fantastic impressions of Albania. We hope to see all of you again next year in Lithuania!

2010 Albania


EUGEN 2010 took place from July 25 to August 1 in Albania, about 25 km north of Durrës at Shen Pjeter Beach. This time, about 100 people from Albania, Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland took the opportunity to visit this beautiful country that hosted the EUGEN meeting for the first time.

The venue being situated directly on the beach was another novelty that gave us the great opportunity to cool down and relax after the field trips.

The participation fees for this year were 80 € and 40 € for participants from countries above and below the 60th percentile of the EU average GDP, respectively.


This year’s final party was held, of course, at the beach. It was the last of many highlights of EUGEN 2010. Many thanks to the organisers around Lorenc, Orgest, Ervin, Ledio, Erion and Drini and their team who served us perfectly over a week of fantastic impressions of Albania. We hope to see all of you again next year in Lithuania!

2009 Netherland

The 14th EUGEN meeting took place in The Netherlands for the first time. Jody Mijts and her team organized the event in Someren-Heide accommodating 160 students of geosciences from 16 European countries, including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland and last, but not least the United Kingdom.

1st of August. Participants arriving. Welcome party.
2nd of August. Field trip. Day 1.
3rd of August. Geo-Olympics. Good will games.
4th of August. Field trip. Day 2.
5th of August. Cultural trip.
6th of August. Field trip. Day 3. Goodbye party.
7th of August. ‘See you later alligator’ day.

The campsite in the province of Northern Brabant was situated in a typical Dutch farm area together with grasslands, cows and greenhouses.
The fee or this week was 80 € for people from EU the old countries and 40 € for those from the new EU countries and included the campsite, meals and transportation.


The evenings saw presentations by participants introducing their institutes or the geology of their home countries as well as some talks by professionals. The latter included Jan de Jager (Shell) on the geology of The Netherlands, Piet Hoekstra (Utrecht University) on the current and future development of the Wadden Sea, Lo ten Haven (Total) on the exploration of Dutch gas fields, and Martin Hendriks (Utrecht University) on education programs of the University of Utrecht


This year’s Geolympics included some classical disciplines like the water balloon battle but also new ones like milking a cow. To comply with animal welfare laws, an artificial cow was used for this discipline.
Field trips
Obviously, the field trips focused on coastal defences and the development of Dutch landscapes but also included a trip to the Belgian Ardennes targeting the variscan orogeny as well as various mining activities.

During a bicycle tour (for the full Dutch experience) the participants were introduced to the late Pleistocene and Holocene history of the landscape in the surroundings of Utrecht.

One of the highlights certainly was the visit of the storm surge barriers of Maeslant and across the Oosterschelde estuary. They were impressive evidence of the technical achievements of the Delta Plan which was implemented to protect The Netherlands from flooding since large parts of the country are below sea level. However, the operators are quite concerned about the long-term safety of the current defence systems for they might not be sufficient with regard to climate change and corresponding sea level rise.

We gained further insights into the matter of ‘living below sea level’ and land reclamation during a trip to the embankments and polder areas around Alblasserwaard and a visit of the Deltares Institute in Delft.

A culture trip to the town of Utrecht completed the very fine excursions program.


Despite the dense program of field trips and presentations, there was enough time left for the participants to socialise over a beer (or two) since bringing together students of geosciences from all over Europe always has been the prime target of the EUGEN meetings.

As usual, the event would not have been possible without external financial support allowing us to offer low participation fees adjusted to the economic level of the participants’ home countries. We are therefore grateful to this year’s sponsors which include Total E & P Nederland B.V., ERCOSPLAN engineers Ltd., the Geological Society (GV), Shell Nederland B.V., the Dutch Geological Society (NGV), Utrecht University.

We would like to thank our supporters and the Dutch organizers for a very successful meeting and look forward to EUGEN 2010 in Albania

Peter, Frederike and Bastian

2007 Italy

EUGEN 2007 took place from July 30th to August 5th some 3 km south-east of the village of Cantiano. Cantiano is situated in central Italy between the cities of Perugia and Pesaro at the border of the provinces Marche and Umbria. EUGEN has been organised by the Italians for the second time after 1999.

This year about 105 geoscience-affiliated people from Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Switzerland responded to the call of the organisers and came together for a week of exchange, field trips, presentations, culture and much fun. To be a true Italian EUGEN the venue was the municipal football stadium, but because of the summer break no match was held during this week.

2006 Portugal

From July 31 to August 6 in the year of 2006, the EUGEN meeting took place for the 11th overall time, being organised for the 2nd time by our buddies from Portugal. The base was put up close to the city of Bragança which is situated in the north-eastern corner of Portugal, some 20 km away from the border to Spain. About 160 geologists, geoscientists and other EUGEN-addicted people from Croatia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and also one guy from Brazil attended this week of impressive field trips in a stunning landscape, cultural highlights and some awesome parties. Unfortunately, due to a traffic accident on the way to Portugal, our French friends were sadly hindered this year. All the best wishes guys and see you next year!
The EUGEN-campsite was located 5 km to the north of Bragança, in the valley of the Rio Sabor that flowed right through the camp.
As a tradition most of the “elder” EUGEN-people had arrived already some days before the official EUGEN beginning to have a bit of a head start. As the campsite was cut through by the Rio Sabor, we had the ‘living quarters’ divided from the tents for ‘official’ purposes (that is meetings, catering and parties). These two areas were connected by a bridge over the Rio Sabor.
The participation fee was 65 € for EU countries and Switzerland and 35 € for non-EU countries. This included campsite access, all the meals, field trips, a welcome bag and beautiful medical treatment (?) which was being applied frequently.

Welcome ceremony

The official EUGEN-start on Monday saw a huge cheerful crowd of people hugging and kissing all over the place. Most of them know each other for years, meeting regularly just at EUGEN. Being veterans themselves, the Portuguese organisers had done a great job in setting up the scenery for this 11th instalment. The welcome ceremony of the EUGEN was held in the evening within the truly fitting backdrop of the campsite’s own little amphitheatre. After welcoming words by the organizers, the mayor of Bragança also addressed the audience shortly and welcomed the participants, which was followed by a big surprise. Our Portuguese friends had invited a folklore dancing group from Trás-os-Montes. Complete with traditional clothes and wooden sticks they performed a rather speedy, Celtic-rooted war dance that was quite spectacular. Everybody was delighted when at the end some participants were being given the chance to perform their own stick-crushing war dance! The members of the dancing group themselves became infected by the EUGEN virus and joined our welcome party till the small hours of the night.


Tuesday was reserved for the well renowned Geolympics. A great opportunity to get to know new people, to show what stuff a real geologist is made of and to make a complete idiot out of oneself in front of an audience. Loads of fun in short – like every year This time the teams were told apart by differently coloured bandanas. Nice idea. The disciplines were:

  • rock-throwing on a target in the amphitheatre
  • sack-bouncing relay team race
  • rotating with head down around a stick and running with a water-filled balloon in hand. High risk of vertigo and toppling into the river!
  • nailing – counting the hammer blows a group needs to drive in two nails
  • rope jumping with two fellows at the same time and a big rope. This discipline became the foundation for the stunning victory of Team ‘Orange’
  • beer drinking against the clock
  • stand-up performance – every group got one minute to perform a choreography to music they did not know before.

Field trips

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were the field trip days. There were four trips to choose from, three of them were offered on all three days. The field trips showed us some geologic features of north-eastern Portugal. We saw:

  • Morais Massive: a variscian Ophiolite complex, palaeozoic continental remnants, the Moho and lots of tectonics. Weather: sunny, 42° C.
  • The mountains of north-eastern Portugal: windows to the Gondwana Palaeocontinent: a trip from the Cambrian to Silurian containing lots of Flysch, pure quartz sandstones, and graptolites. At the end of this trip a tremendous view over the Douro valley and free-living eagles and vultures topped that trip off. Weather: sunny, 40° C.
  • Exploitations of Serpentinite, Talc and Tremolite Asbestos in north-eastern Portugal: The field trip kept the promise the title gave. The people grabbed tons of hand specimens out of the pits. Weather: sunny, 40° C.
  • International Douro Natural Park: This trip featured stones from precambrian to variscian age in the deep carved-in Douro Valley. Weather: sunny, but damn cold at 38° C.

All the trips were very well organized and guided by inspired and inspiring geologists from diverse Portuguese universities. Being always the ‘core‘ discipline at an EUGEN, the event stands or falls with the quality of the field-trips. A big compliment to the organizers and field-trip leaders for this year’s excellent geologic education in a beautiful landscape. Thumbs up for that!

Presentations, fire

Saturday finally was the day when we went to have a look at our nearby host town, visiting the historic parts of Bragança with its ancient gothic castle. After climbing the tower and enjoying a truly splendid view over Bragança and the surrounding hillsides, everybody set out to explore the city on their own. As the final part of the trip an EUGEN football game at the famous Bragança Central football stadium was being staged.

The EUGEN 2006 yielded many a great surprise, the first being delivered right at the opening ceremony with the above-mentioned folklore performance. That was the moment to bring it home on us ignorant EUGEN-people that there are two different languages in Portugal, namely Portuguese and Mirandes. Translations from Mirandes to Portuguese are a little bit tricky and can lead to very funny results, remembering us a bit of EUGLISH. This kind of language is spoken exclusively at the EUGEN meetings as a mixture of words from the mother tongues of the participants and English. That is to say that even if the ‘official‘ EUGEN language is English, the typical count of native speakers present equals nil. This fact starts to show at times.

The head of EUGEN Deutschland e.V. also had prepared a small surprise as a present for all participants. On the last evening, Jumbo and Ingo showed a picture-presentation covering the first decade of EUGEN-meetings. Jumbo, the only EUGENosaurus present who took part in all the EUGENs so far, had a lot of funny stories to tell and so everybody was given the ability to share in on the experience of having witnessed the complete EUGEN history. A funny senseless performance by the Croatian guys followed. Then Fiore, Gab, Mario and Francesco entered the stage and announced that the next EUGEN will take place in Italy! 160 EUGENeers agreed and the final party was on its way but…

…another surprise appeared at this moment. A group from Bragança, including our good old friend Xana made a fire-performance to the sound of beautiful flute music played live by Nuxa. Quite a sight to behold! It is impossible to describe this scenery; it was nearly perfect… Later in the evening, some of the participants even performed fire-spitting on their own…risk. The farewell-party that followed was of course extra loose and also a time for a lot of saudades. Even when it was getting hell (EUGLISH at its best!!) some 30 people were still sitting around in hope that this EUGEN would never end.


To put everything in a nutshell, the EUGEN 2006 in Bragança was a really great experience for every participant and a great pleasure being part of. Like every year a lot of friendships were renewed, and new friends were being made. Even after more than a week with rather limited sleep the organizers took good care of matters, supported by the overall great weather. The general mood was dominated by warm and positive feelings and so it came to pass that after all nobody really missed the campfire. That’s right, the thought of EUGEN without campfire is somewhat strange at first, but such restrictions have to be made when staying in a country prone for summer bush-fires.
Finally we say a big, heartfelt ‘Obrigado’ to our Portuguese friends and look forward to the next EUGEN in Italy!!

Basti, Ingo, Chris & Jumbo

2005 Croatia

It was in the year of 2005 when the European geology students network meeting finally celebrated its 10th birthday. Again, a new country could be added to the fold of EUGEN hosts, proving that the EUGEN idea of international friendship between geo-scientists is well alive & kicking. In this fashion our Croatian friends invited all European students of geo-science related subjects and all geology enthusiasts in general to gather down south for the 10th anniversary edition of the EUGEN meeting. For this purpose they had found a nice square of tree-surrounded patchy grassland near the little town of Lokve, located in the forest park Golubinjak in the Croatian county of Gorsky Kotar, Western Croatia, just half an hour drive away from the Adriatic sea.

The nearby Lake Lokve was soon discovered as a welcome location for relaxation and summer fun by the rapidly swelling international crowd that began to pour in. On the weekend of arrival many a cheer and hello were to be heard all over the campgrounds as freshmen were being welcomed and old EUGEN mates were welcomed back. Spontaneous little reunion parties broke out all over the place – needless to say that the beer was flowing in streams. Well, the EUGEN-idea has come around a bit in the course of its 10 years of existence. This reflected well in the great diversity of European nations present at the anniversary EUGEN in Croatia, including Albania, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Switzerland.

All in all, more than 150 participants received their name-tag (orange for Croatians, green for the guests) and welcome pack that consisted of some touristic information brochures about Croatia, a map of Croatia and a quite elaborately crafted EUGEN 2005 program booklet that included welcoming words, general issues of the EUGEN week and extensive descriptions of all the field-trips. For some reason the initially planned introductory speech got shelved, giving us the opportunity to go and explore the local wonders such as the aforementioned Lake Lokve or the nearby Lokvarska cave (or the EUGEN bar), with enough time for party afterwards.

From a glance at the program schedule it is obvious that the week that followed consisted of ‘EUGEN as usual‘ with the obligatory geologic excursions, geolympics, country presentations and tourist trips – if in slightly odd order. That is to say our Croatian hosts placed the fun-sport team competition of the so-called ‘geolympics‘ directly at the beginning of the week, followed by a three-day excursion marathon. Oh well, if they must… The geolympics are always loads of fun and a good opportunity to get to know people better, so in theory it’s a good idea to do them early in the go. Teams are put together randomly, and disciplines are always a surprise. Except for the beer competition of course. The fun aspect is certainly most important and in this fashion, we were sporting the day away with the rather small number of five different disciplines like row-towing or some silly biking. The whole thing was done quite quickly, leaving enough time for party afterwards. Come on guys!

The trips

Excursions. Limestones at last. The fieldtrips brought us to selected Croatian geological highlights and sightseeing opportunities such as the Kirmenjak quarry in the Istria region. This outcrop in the Adriatic-Dinaridic carbonate platform with its Cretaceous sediments features a quite spectacular exposed surface where sauropod dinosaur footprints can be observed (see picture to the right). This excursion was quite popular, and rightly so. As a bonus we enjoyed fine views of the Croatian landscape and paid the giant nummulites a visit that occur in the limestone quarry of Koromačno with its attached cement plant.
The geologist as such is bound to walk off geological profiles and our Croatian hosts could provide. A walk up the Velika Kapela mountain just east of the camp featured in several stops the geological column of the High Karst Dinarides.

Fun excursions. A neat idea was to render the borders between geologic excursions and tourist trips quite diffuse on a couple of occasions. So, we paid the Kvarner region with its island of Krk a visit via a delightful boat ride. The ship was called Vila Velebita II and built one hundred years or so ago. On the first excursion day on this trip everybody was given the in EUGEN terms quite unique chance to get wet from every side at once. Including the inside.

And we had a look at a decent karst spring of course. This was done on the excursion to the Kupa river that spectacularly appears out of the ground just like that.
Fortunately for the adventurous geology nerd it keeps on flowing in a surficial fashion afterwards. Such after the lecture about the hydrogeology of the Kupa river catchment area (see picture left) our hosts were kindly able to arrange a rafting trip down the Kupa (see picture right), in which course some daring river rider got mighty wet indeed. Hey, that sure was great! After that, it was shovelling down the goo and party. Like on all the other evenings.

Plitvička Jezera, Presentations

Concluding highlight of the EUGEN week was to be the trip to the number one nature-monument wonder in Croatia, the famous ‘Plitvička Jezera‘ (Plitvice lakes) national park. This ‘UNESCO World Heritage‘ national park features a strikingly beautiful array of 16 lakes with crystal clear, blue-green coloured water that are connected by waterfalls. All is set within a landscape dominated by rich green forested hills, white limestone rocky outcrops and travertine that builds up the ‘barriers‘ between the lakes.

Squeezing the presentations just after this rather lengthy trip was not necessarily one of the more brilliant ideas,
but what cool speeches this year! In fact, the presentation by Switzerland has to go down in EUGEN history as one of the best ever. Bar none. Cleverly done with information about country, people, habits, local oddities, geology – nicely illustrated and very funny too. The picture to the left was taken during this one. Portugal did an excellent presentation as well, showing us some pictures of their homestead features and local geology. After a short speech by Albania that included an invitation for all EUGEN people to come and visit the country (but no pictures though), the German EUGEN e.V. took over with some explanations on its activities and their relevance to the meetings. Well, that cleared things up, folks ?

And it already was the last evening of the EUGEN, too! Time flies as usual and we had to find a host for next year. Luckily, our Portuguese friends declared that they feel ready for it and so for the second time in history it was decided to stage EUGEN in Portugal. Yeah! After trundling around in the more eastern regions of Europe (which are great) for some years now, we certainly can do with a bit of ‚guaranteed sunny‘ conditions for a change.
Okay, the occasional rain and considerable drop in temperature we were experiencing this year sure are to be seen as an exception. And at first the summer rain is delightful and refreshing, but it must be said that there rather was a little bit too much of it so that our happiness was slightly dented at times. Having had the hot Slovenian summer of 2003 in mind while travelling to Croatia, we were not exactly equipped for wet and cold nights!
After the proclamation of Portugal as host for EUGEN 2006, we finally could proceed with the farewell-party excesses.

What remains to be said? T-shirts came in two colours red and dark blue and the beer-mugs had the EUGEN-Croatia logo printed on them.

Our thanks to the organizing team who did an excellent job setting up all the infrastructure and excursions and establishing a good connection to the Lokve locals. Also, a big thanks to all the Croatian helpers who kept the thing up and running during the week with bar-duties, field trip registration and supervision, cleaning and simply being there for our needs.

Thank you Croatia! see you next year in Portugal.

2004 Latvia

After all the EUGEN-meeting in Latvia was a blast. The organizing committee really went through their paces offering a rich program for the whole week and caring for every little detail involved. Thus, we were all feeling very comfortable and high spirited throughout our stay. We were all being very well fed with excellent food and watered with tasty cool cider and beer (or juice for the very brave – the bar was virtually open around the clock :). In this respect the Latvian national drink has to be mentioned that arrived later in the week. It is black, called ‘Balsam‘, contains some 45 vol% of C2H5OH and provoked quite mixed reactions… One has to see for oneself, but interesting stuff, nevertheless. I quite liked it. To experience the formerly unknown is essential while abroad (and it keeps the hosts happy to appreciate their tastes). blabla

Some very nice details first seen and cared about in this year’s EUGEN rounded off a perfect week. For example, the geolympics winner ceremony was staged late in the evening, the lawn very moodily lit in the light of torches. Some old, sawn off tree-trunk served as a pedestal, the first three teams received documents and prices (forgot what exactly…).
Finally on Saturday evening the closing ceremony had arrived. The place selection for EUGEN 2005 went like this: Ingrida: ‚who shall organize the next EUGEN?‘ – Everybody: ‚CROATIA!!!‘ – Ingrida: ‚Do the Croatians want this?‘ – Croatians: ‚YES!!!‘ – Ingrida: ‚is anybody against this?‘ – Everybody: ‚NO!!!‘. So that was that and some sparkling wine was spilled to settle the matter. And the organizers pulled off one last bang: 5 giant cakes baked in the shape to form the word ‘EUGEN‘. Wow.

Gratitude and respect go out to the people who did all this for us:

Organizing committee of EUGEN 2004:
Evita Klavina, Ingrida Malika, Zanda Serdane, Eriks Drande,
Andis Kalvans, Gita Klavina, Inga Rasa, Krisjanis Sietins, Maija Vanaga

2003 Slovenia

For the eighth EUGEN-meeting of European geology students (EUGEN = EUropean GEology students Network), the Slovenian Organization of Geology Students (OŠG) together with EUGEN Deutschland e.V. had send out invitations to students from 209 universities across Europe. 223 students followed this invitation to enjoy one week of geology and international understanding from 4th to 10th of hot August ’03 near the small town of Kobarid in the north-western part of Slovenia. The OŠG had organized 6 national student meetings prior to the 2003 EUGEN-edition, but even with these experiences under its belt it was a hard work to accomplish, with the decision to be the host for EUGEN ’03 made somewhat spontaneously just on the last evening of EUGEN ‘02.
Located beautifully in the idyllic surroundings of the Julian Alps, the campgrounds near the small town of Kobarid proved to be ideally placed in regard of travel distance to all the interesting geology-related destinations that were planned to be visited.

When the meeting took on form at last and all started to happen, on the weekend of arrival students from Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Romania, Spain, Albania and for the first time from Finland and Russia arrived at the EUGEN ’03 campgrounds.
Due to the tireless work of the OŠG it was possible to offer a diverse program of geologic fieldtrips, sight-seeing trips and leisure activities in the week to follow. The program consisted of geologic fieldtrips on 3 days, each day with 5 different trips or workshops to choose from.
The non-fieldtrip-program consisted as always in one day reserved for sight-seeing trips, some university presentations and not to forget the famous and well received ‘Geolympics’ as the #1 sporting event to tie international bonds of geological friendship.

After the first plenum on Monday evening and an introductionary talk by Dr. Bojan Ogorelec (Chairman of the Geological Survey of Slovenia) – introducing the Geology of the western part of Slovenia – a first little party started. The ice began to break and after a few hours most participants understood that it is no problem if you are not that good in English. Well, with the English language widely used as the international standard communications method – especially in regard of an university-originated surrounding – there really is no alternative, is it?
BUT with the vast majority (oh yes, there were two Americans around) being not native speakers the real language used became quickly known as ‘euglish’ – a mixture of genuine English combined with colourful examples of national vocabulary (from most diverse nationalities, mind) – sometimes even in combination with effective sign language. Needless to say, here that it all worked brilliantly.

On with the ‘official’ program it went, and from the superbly organized fieldtrips that were due on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday it was a very hard choice to make from the following offerings:

  • Karst I: (famous Scocjanske Jame – a cave in the Karst-region), guided by Grega Juvan, Faculty of Natural Science and Engineering, Department of Geology
  • Karst II: (karst caves, fields, springs and collapse dolines), guided by Prof. Dr. France Šušteršič, Faculty of Natural Science and Engineering, Department of Geology
  • Landslide Koseč: a landslide located in the beautiful Soča valley
  • Idrija Hg-mine
  • Trnovski gozd: Mesozoic carbonate platform dispositional systems of NW Dinarides
  • Posočje: disasters that have shaped the upper Soča river region during the quaternary; climate, tectonics, glaciers, sedimentary mass flows and beyond
  • Deep water sediments of the Slovenian basin
  • Flysch sediments: sedimentology and stratigraphy of the upper cretaceous-middle paleocene basin and flysch deposital systems of W Slovenia
  • Mt. Krn: 9 hour-walk over famous Mt. Krn located in the stunning Julian Alps landscape with some sedimentology and remains from a famous WW1 battle to watch on the way
  • Mt. Kanin: alpine karst of Kanin massif
  • Hydrogeology of Trnovski gozd and Soča valley – Hydrogeology of the Slovenian karstic region – led by Metka Petrič, Karst Research Institute, ZRC-SAZU
  • Mt. Mangart: stratigraphy and sedimentology – led by Andrej Šmuc, Ivan Rakovec Institute of Palaeontology
  • Structural geology workshop
  • On Wednesday some touristic trips were offered and the following destinations were made available:
    • Ljubljana – the capital city of Slovenia
    • Bled + Bohinj – famous idyllic lake region
    • Sečovlje – salt production
    • Kobarid – 1st world war museum

Eugen 2001: Plateliai national park, Lithuania


August 6th (Monday) – arrival and registration.
August 7th (Tuesday) – excursion I: coastal part of Lithuania.
August 8th (Wednesday) – resting day.
August 9th (Thursday) – excursion II: introduction with Quaternary (Pleistocene) sediments in Lithuania and visiting deep drilling site for oil in Lithuania
August 10th (Friday) – resting day. Geolympics.
August 11th (Saturday) – excursion III: introduction with preQuaternary rocks and sediments in Lithuania.
August 12th (Sunday) – departure.


Locality and Accomodation

In 2001, EUGEN took place in a holiday resort at the beautiful lake of the Plateliai national park near Plunge, located in NW Lithuania. Most of us were put up in funny coloured small huts from Soviet times, with two short beds, a table, two chairs, and – refrigerators! Unfortunately, some of them seemed to be diesel-driven to judge from the noise they made, preferably at night-times. In each hut there surprisingly also was a pair of oars stowed away in the cupboard. That was because each of the huts had its own small rowing boat lying on the nearby lake, ready to be put into service by the inhabitants. The hut-equipment was completed with a tin bucket and an enamelled washing bowl, water for cooking or washing was to be fetched from the nearby pumping well. Toilets inside the huts were nil, and the view of the public ones drove most people into the surrounding forest when in need. Especially during the night this was a really thrilling enterprise. Some privileged stayed in brand-new roomy huts with four comfortable beds and the fragrance of fresh wood in the air instead the smell of synthetic resin colour and formaldehyde that the colourful Soviet huts evaporated. However, concerning toilets, here too was nil. The inconvenience of having to fetch every drop of water from the well made the lake the most popular bathroom, which fortunately was not too cold.
Well, some Italians appeared to be chilled to the bone but they had to get used to it, life is hard. What really had the potential to knock them out of their socks was the local thing they called pizza – lukewarm pitta bread with sour cucumbers, some salami, ketchup and a little bit of gouda cheese. You had to be really hungry to get this one down. But in the main building of the campsite you could get cheap cigarettes, diverse brands of delicious Lithuanian beer and especially remarkable were small bags with french-fries-shaped pieces of roasted garlic-bread. Tastes great!


Lithuania, respectively the whole south-eastern Baltic coast, is very famous for extensive amber deposits. Consequently, one field trip led us to the impressing Amber Museum in Palanga. The exhibition is kept in a neo-classical 19th century palace surrounded by a beautiful park which is kept very neat and clean – a thing you can say about most of Lithuania. Later, we crossed the Curonian Lagoon to visit Europe’s largest dune areas on the Curonian Spit. This is a sandy stretch of land, 98 km long and varying in width from just 400 m to 4 km, laid between the waters of the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, we got into an enormous heavy shower. At least it was thus possible to test the water-absorbing capacity of our clothes. Mine was quite good: about two and a half litres I’d say. But finally, we had a really marvellous sundown at the Baltic beach! And some tough guys threw themselves into the rather cold sea.

Other field trips led us to an oil exploration drilling site, we saw the famous ‘hill of crosses’, and an opencast mine with very pure quartz sand that is used e.g. in the production of the glass for screens.


One afternoon we were listening to an interesting talk about Lithuania’s geological history. It was amusing to hear how the distribution of cultural elements, from pre-historic graves to recent Lithuanian dialects, can be attributed to basement structures. Most fascinating is the convincing logic: the development of the basement finally caused different landscapes at the surface and, of course, different landscapes require different types of agriculture, give rise to different economical structures, architecture, industry… in one word: culture (including dialects). Okay, that’s nothing new, I know, but sometimes it’s good to become aware of this fact anew.

Geolympics 2001

A real highlight were the Geolympic Games 2001. Teams of five persons put together randomly had to compete in ten disciplines, but only seven of them could be finished before night fell. The first two were swimming, diving, and throwing disciplines: ‘Hit the tyre’ (or your team-mate’s head) with golf balls, and a kind of water baseball. The first few teams to do this one became a bit confused about the rules. The following teams meanwhile had the chance to develop successful strategies. But pretty useless they are if one doesn’t catch the ball. Then it was diving time. And so, the shallow water became quite cloudy after a while. It became very important to throw very accurate and to actually catch the ball in order to avoid the necessity of having to go fishing in troubled waters. The third discipline was a boat race. Two teams had to row around a buoy, one team clockwise the other anticlockwise, with three persons on board and two as pushers. As the lake is only one and a half meters deep, finally, the pushers worked as outboard motors. Ramming, forcing aside, and spectacular boarding manoeuvres delighted the enthusiastic audience. The next disciplines were ‘capping’ (eugl.: hit your opponent’s beer bottle cap and get him to drink), ‘pea beating’ (not very easy after poor capping results), and ‘table golf’ (with geologic hammers). The final discipline was the classic ‘cherry stone long spitting’ (we had purchased several hundredweights of cherries from a funny old Lithuanian woman).


Generally, the food was absolutely okay. Dinner was delivered from a (very cosy) bar located in the nearby village. We got to know the Lithuanian national dish number one, so-called Zeppelini (?), a kind of potato dumplings with the shape of small zeppelins in a sauce of cream, oil, and bacon cubes – very fatty and very filling. Maybe that’s nothing for weight watching modern women but I liked it. Only breakfast was quite scarce on two days, or a bit strange regarding masses of tinned sardines, but therefore the strange tea was very interesting and quite delicious.
On the last evening the Italians continued with their tradition to cook one enormous pot of pasta for the whole lot, including sauce.


The participants of EUGEN 2001 came from Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden – and for the first time there were some Estonians. We missed our friends from Spain, usually frequent EUGEN-guests. Unfortunately, they had their second national student meeting at the same time. Some other nations were also absent, but we hope to (re-)extend the circle of EUGEN nations in 2002.

Jens Holtvoeth
(EUGEN Deutschland e.V.)

1999 Italy

Ciao Italia!!!

EUGEN came in its 4th year when it took place in Italy in the year of 1999. Students of the ‘Dipartmento di Geologia e Geodesia’ of the Palermo University initiated the EUGEN-meeting on a pleasant campground in Palermo. With the number of 160 students from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Swiss, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany and Romania this EUGEN represents a new record. A good organisation let everybody enjoy the groovy parties and spectacular excursions (active Etna Volcano, etc…). The next EUGEN is announced to take place in Spain.

1997 Portugal

The second EUGEN-meeting took place on 9.-14. august 1997. Remarkably it was also the first national Portuguese meeting of geology students. These kinds of meetings were unknown in Portugal prior to the first EUGEN-meeting in 1996 that triggered some ideas here.

Participating nations included Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Germany, Romania and Lithuania. The guys from Romania had bought an old car for the occasion. After one solid week of travel it certainly was to be one of the first Romanian cars in Portugal ever. The Lithuanians teamed up with some Germans in the town of Aachen to continue the journey together. This once more shows how strong the bonds of friendship are amongst EUGEN-people and how important the EUGEN-idea is in regard of European integration.

This second meeting also showed growing sense for professionalism. Nobody had to bring tents along as the participants were housed in student hostels. Following the big success of the first EUGEN the organizing committee managed to get their hands on some sponsoring money quite easy (for example from the University, diverse geological companies or from local bars and radio stations).

Excursions led us to Serra D’Aire e Candeeiros for reading dinosaur tracks, Regiao Caramulo for pre-Ordovician meta-sediment-structures, Cabo Mondego for some marine and continental sedimentation ranging from Triassic-Jurassic geologic periods, Serra da Freita for some metamorphic rocks and to the Fornos de Algodres for some ordovician slate-quartzite. Puh.
Furthermore some talks about general and special geology in Portugal were being staged, held by professors from the University of Aveiro. Some kind of fair (presentations) for introduction of participating countries/universities rounded off the ‘official’ program schedule.

Sadly, the meeting also had a drawback as ca. 20% of the participants had to visit hospital due to a light food poisoning. Organizers are not to blame though, their catering contractor unexpectedly turned out to be not quite up to standard. Nobody departed early, though.

EUGEN ’96 – a big success!

The idea to organize a meeting for european geology students in Germany was born during the national geology students meeting in Aachen, summer 1995. The decision to actually transform this idea into reality and to organize EUGEN ’96 was made during the German geology students winter-meeting, January 1996 in Erlangen. From this point on students from Karlsruhe, Aachen, Hannover, Erlangen and Göttingen were getting busy organizing, nailing down the exact program schedule in Karlsruhe as late as of June ’96.
Preparation time was quite short considering the immensity of the project that history now knows as the first ever EUGEN-meeting. It took place 13.-18.08.1996 on some campgrounds between the villages of Triberg and St.Georgen in the southern black forest (Schwarzwald), southern Germany. 120 participants from 9 european nations were being welcomed on tuesday, 13th August ’96 by the small but highly motivated organizing committee. There were students from Aveiro and Villa Real in Portugal, from Zaragoza and Bilbao in Spain, from Triest, Bari and Palermo in Italy, from Aarhus in Denmark, from Aachen, Hannover, Göttingen, Erlangen, Karlsruhe, Hamburg, Freiburg, Halle, Clausthal, Berlin, Köln (German crew) and one student even came from Reykjavik / Island. Extra happy we were about the 25 participants from eastern europe: from Wroclaw and Gliwice / Poland, from Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Bucharest / Romania and finally four students who came from Vilnius in Lithuania. After some initial visa-related problems they managed to join us for the remaining three days. In some cases the effort that had been undergone to come to Germany seems to be sheer unbelievable. For some it was the first trip to Germany, for some Romanians even the first trip abroad ever! We were quite impressed by the fact that in several cases the travelling expenses were being covered by the Universities or by sponsorship.

After the opening speech by Michaela Witzke from Erlangen everybody was encouraged to mingle at leisure. Communication problems were virtually nil thanks to common knowledge of the English language, more or less. Well, nothing was embarassing anyway because no native speaker was present.

Wednesday we turned the dining hall of the campside into a conference room: there were posters, brochures, geologic maps and even some videos. Communication between participants flowed freely, speeches about geology and cultural topics were being held by representatives of diverse nations. The whole affair certainly was an eye-opener in terms of getting to know how students live and work in other countries.

Thursday was excursion day: Jürgen Scharrer and Jörg Hopperdietzel from Erlangen University led a trip to the ‘Nördlinger Ries’. That’s a famous impact crater in southern Germany. Frank Wombacher and Klaus Mandrup Christensen from Göttingen led a trip to the paleontological museum in Dotternhausen, giving the opportunity to hunt fossiles in Liassian shales afterwards. Jens Holtvoeth (Aachen) and Birgit Kaspar (Erlangen) led a walk to Wolfach for a mineral hunt and a lecture on hydrothermal mineral genesis. A fourth group went with Markus Becker and Michael Ruff (Karlsruhe) to visit a company for environmental consulting in Ettlingen. Contaminated land remediation projects and drilling methods were the topics of the day here.

On friday we did the first ‘Geolympics’ in EUGEN-history. Teams were being build and off we went into different disciplines designed to cover all necessary skills essential for being a geologist: Teabag-throwing, putting up a tent, hammer-throwing, potato peeling and a full geologic excursion consisting of getting up, dressing, storming out, having breakfast, visiting outcrop, rock sampling and heading off to the pub. Well, getting people from different nations together quickly calls for simple fun-activities, it doesn’t always has to be scientific program.

But on saturday it was geology again: The ‘Nördlinger Ries’ excursion was done for the second time, Felix Himmerkus from Karlsruhe led a walk through the valley of the river ‘Wutach’, and a third group led by Bernd Bremerich & Sabine Brinker (Aachen) paid the volcano ‘Kaiserstuhl’ a visit to learn about volcanism in the upper rhine valley and petrology of the local igneous rocks. Furthermore the area of the ‘Kaiserstuhl’ is the warmest in Germany and in combination with its loess-rich slopes this makes for a decent wine region. So big surprise as at the end of this excursion a wine-tasting session in Bischoffingen was being staged. Time for the Portuguese to talk shop with the vintager.

On saturday evening then it already was time for the farewell speech, held by Sabine Brinker representing the organizing committe of EUGEN ’96. The following farewell-party was designed not to be quickly forgotten.

Of course EUGEN ’96 wouldn’t have been so smooth if the ‘fork-team’ from Hannover wouldn’t have had perfect control over the kitchen: Stefan Auerbach and Manfred Machau with their helpers were taking our guests on a trip through Germany’s diverse cuisine: While a bit of a shifty feeling prevailed about the north-german ‘Labskaus’, typical ‘Sauerkraut’ was being met with considerably more enthusiasm.

Regarding finances we would have run into serious trouble without the generous support from the ‘German Geologic Society’ (Deutsche Geologische Gesellschaft) and the help from Dr. Röhling. An extra thank you goes to all other corporate sponsors and sponsoring societies: Karlsruher Hochschul-Vereinigung, Conoco Öl-Gesellschaft, Vereinigung Aachener Geowissenschaftler, Oberrheinische Hafen- und Flußbau GmbH (O.H.S.) in Au am Rhein. A big help was Prof. Stosch from the institute of petrography in Karlsruhe. For lending us the institute’s own buses we thank the association for the promotion of applied geology in Karlsruhe and Prof. Wohlenberg (geophysics, Aachen). Material donations were provided by the geologic survey NRW, ‘Relief-und-Profil’ and ‘Spektrum der Wissenschaften’ publishing companies.

Finally it’s time to thank all organizers and further helping hands who have not been mentioned so far: Thorsten Jahn, Thomas Wink, Michael Kaiser and Christopher Siebert from Göttingen, Susanne Mirau and Iris Suhrholt from Hannover as member of the Fork-Team, Jens Warnsloh and Andreas Mundt from Clausthal, Bernd Schütz and Stephan Kröher from Karlsruhe, Kathrin Gallmeister, Dirk Marre, Detlef Weitz and Birgit Dietrich from Aachen, Sandra Piazolo from Freiburg (preparing the Kaiserstuhl-excursion) and Sabine Roth from Bonn (DGG-official).

As a result we can say that EUGEN ’96 was a big success! Many personal contacts were being made and lots of information was exchanged. We really moved something. Many students were inspired to start similar meetings on a national scale, after the model of the in Germany long established ‘BuFaTa’ meeting (remember – the EUGEN was born out of the idea to try an international ‘BuFaTa’). Close contacts to students from Vilnius/Lithuania and Romania were established. And it does not end here: A geology week with many excursions will be pulled off next spring (1997) in Cluj Napoca/Romania. And last but not least the students from the “Núcleo de Geología” from Aveiro/Portugal, who work almost independently and introduced us to many of their activities will be organizing the second EUGEN ’97 in Portugal.

Bernd Bremerich & Sabine Brinker
(FS Geologie/Mineralogie, RWTH Aachen)

translation German -> English: Chris Schramm