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On 16 November there was a lustrum symposium in café Oerknal to celebrate the 80th birthday of Physical Geography at UvA, as well as the 25th birthday of the corresponding study association GAOS and alumni association Lulofs. This festive day was attended by the Ambassador of Luxembourg in the Netherlands, to receive the first copy of the book: The Luxembourger Gutland Landscape. Alumnus Pim Beukenkamp, who has been of special merit to Physical Geography, was honoured with the Johannes Lulofs medal.

The Ambassador of Luxembourg, his excellency Jean-Marc Hoscheit receives the first copy of the book 'The Luxembourger Gutand Landscape' from Erik Cammeraat. Photo: Jan van Arkel.

The symposium was centred around 80 years of Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam and started off with a retrospect by researchers of the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED): Erik Cammeraat, Annemieke Kooijman, Harry Seijmonsbergen and Judy Shamoun-Baranes. Former GAOS board members Henk Pieter Sterk and Rùna Magnusson took the stage to look back at 25 years of (total) GAOS.

Amsterdam landscape developments

The second part of the symposium was directed towards the historical and future developments of the Amsterdam landscape. Kim Zweerink, who recently promoted at the TU Delft on the making of the city, showed the transformation of the form of Amsterdam between 1240 and 1940. Maurtis ten Hoogh and Els Corporaal directed took the public in the future direction by discussing future growth scenarios and ecological potentials for the city of Amsterdam.

Luxembourger Gutland Landscape

One of the landscapes that have been very inspirational to a large number of UvA Physical Geography researchers, teachers and students, is the Luxembourger Gutland Landscape. This decades long work of has resulted in a book about the development of soil, landscape and vegetation of this unique ecosystem: The Luxembourger Gutland Landscape. The book contains contributions of different IBED authors that have worked, or are still working, in the area. The book not only contains many scientific discoveries, but also gives a clear overview of the special landscape.

During the lustrum symposium Erik Cammeraat, one of the editors of the book, handed the first copy of the book to the Ambassador Luxembourg in the Netherlands, Jean-Marc Hoscheit. The ambassador stressed that this book was very important to emphasize the joint research between the UvA and Luxembourgian counterparts and that it was amazing that already since the 1950’s physical geographers from the UvA worked there, among which the well-known Dutch writer W.F Hermans. Furthermore he memorized that the timing of this release coincides with the requested establishment of European Geoparc in the Mullertal, which is part of the area covered by the book.

Pim Beunenkamp receives the Lulofs medal from Cindy Teeven, vice-chair of Lulofs.
Pim Beunenkamp receives the Lulofs medal from Cindy Teeven, vice-chair of Lulofs. Photo: Jan van Arkel.

Lulofs medal

The festive day was closed by awarding the Lulofs medal to Pim Beunenkamp, who has been of special merit to  the field of Physical Geography. Since 2014 Lulofs wants to honour alumni for their exceptional contribution to research or education in physical geography with the Johannes Lulofs medal. Pim Beunenkamp significantly contributed to university education, education for teachers, and the position and popularization of the subject geography in high schools.


Read more about the book 'The Luxembourger Gutland Landscape' on the Springer website