S4 is a student-led training school aimed at graduate students and those who are new to applying speleothem science (the science of secondary cave mineral deposits) to reconstruct past climate, environmental, and archaeological change. Following six successful summer schools in Heidelberg 2013, Oxford 2015, Burgos 2017, and Cluj-Napoca 2019, S4 Online 2022, and Mini S4 in Innsbruck, Austria 2022, and Sao Paulo, Brazil 2023, the current planning committee is busy working on the 6th installment of S4. Please check this website or our social media accounts for news and updates.
S4 features lectures and workshops delivered by world-leading experts within the field. As well as brushing up on speleothem science knowledge, S4 provides an excellent venue for participants to meet other students and established researchers working with speleothems. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their work (even if only at the research proposal stage) during an informal poster session.
For more information about the types of topics covered see the schedule from S4 2019 and our past events page. We also encourage you to visit our YouTube Channel, which has many recordings of lectures and workshops from our past events.
S4 views education as a catalyst for empowerment. It's not just about imparting information but empowering individuals to become active contributors and leaders in speleothem science. Through comprehensive lectures and hands-on workshops, S4 aims to equip participants with the expertise and critical thinking necessary to tackle complex challenges in the field.
S4 extends beyond the confines of traditional learning spaces, offering a unique opportunity for participants to venture into the mesmerizing world of caves and distant regions. Beyond the enriching academic program, the event presents a chance to traverse geographical boundaries, immersing oneself in the allure of faraway places that hold hidden treasures—caves teeming
with geological wonders and clues to Earth's history. Diversity is more than just a buzzword at S4—it's a cornerstone of progress. The event thrives on the intersection of varied perspectives, valuing contributions from individuals across disciplines, cultures, and academic backgrounds. This mosaic of diversity fuels innovation, ignites curiosity, and cultivates a vibrant atmosphere where ideas converge and evolve.
S4 ignites a passion for fieldwork and discovery, instilling a sense of adventure and appreciation for the intricate beauty of remote landscapes. Participants not only learn in classrooms but also in the field, where lessons in geology, hydrology, and paleoclimatology come alive amidst stunning natural vistas. These experiences often become pivotal moments, inspiring lifelong pursuits in the realms of cave exploration and scientific inquiry.
S4's emphasis on travel and exploration transcends academic boundaries, nurturing a spirit of curiosity and a reverence for the natural world. It fosters a deep-seated connection with nature's marvels, encouraging participants to become stewards of these delicate ecosystems and advocates for the preservation of these hidden treasures for generations to come. S4 believes in the transformative power of collaboration. The event serves as a nexus where researchers, from established experts to emerging scholars, convene to share findings, exchange methodologies, and forge collaborations that transcend institutional boundaries. The emphasis on poster sessions and networking opportunities nurtures connections that often bloom into fruitful collaborations.
The commitment to accessibility extends beyond physical attendance. Recognizing the global nature of research, S4 leverages technology to amplify its impact. By archiving lectures and workshops online, the event ensures that insights and knowledge are disseminated worldwide, democratizing access to cutting-edge research within speleothem science. S4 is not merely an event but a catalyst for sustained impact. By fostering a community of passionate researchers and students, the event plants seeds for ongoing research, ensuring its legacy extends beyond the event's duration. It aspires to contribute to the broader scientific community's understanding of climate, environments, and historical changes through ongoing collaborative endeavors.
S4 believes in continual evolution and growth. Each iteration of the event builds upon previous successes, integrating feedback, embracing emerging methodologies, and adapting to the evolving landscape of speleothem science. This commitment to evolution ensures that S4 remains at the forefront of education and research in the field.
S4's philosophy embodies a commitment to education, collaboration, inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability—a philosophy that fuels its impact and relevance within the dynamic realm of speleothem science.