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General meeting Spain - October 2011 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erik van den Elsen   
3-7 OCTOBER 2011
Version August 4th, 2011
  • The plenary meeting will be held from monday, October 3rd to thursday, October 6th 2011.
  • The field trip will be the wednesday, October 5th 2011.
  • Optional field trips will be Friday, October 7th 2011 (scientific-touristic tours).

Meeting Program

The (plenary) meeting program can be downloaded HERE (or go to the meeting download page HERE)

The meeting will be held at Hotel AC Almeria, Plaza Flores 1, Almeria.
A registration page is implemented on HERE (you will need to log in first). You will receive an email when the registration page for the meeting becomes operative, after that registered users can register for this plenary meeting in Spain.

Registration fee and payment
A registration fee of 250 € includes: renting conference rooms at the hotel, mid-meeting excursion (bus + lunch), lunches and coffee-tea breaks, meeting dinner. The post-meeting excursion on Friday will cost and additional € 50,-.

The registration fee can be paid beforehand using a bank transfer or can be paid locally in cash. ATM machines are widely available in Almeria. Receipts will be issued.

Money transfer
Transfer € 250,- (conference fee only) or € 300,- (conference fee + post conference excursion) to:
Bank name: Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona "La Caixa", 
Bank Address: Paseo de Almería 54, ES-04001, Almería.
Account name: "Environmental Applications Brokers S.L."
In the bank transfer, please specify “DESIRE registration - Almeria”, or “DESIRE registration and excursion - Almeria”.
IBAN (International BAnk Number) : ES34 2100 2184 1502 0034 5283;
the SWIFT code of the bank is: CAIXESBBXXX.

(Hotel rooms have already been booked in both hotels, please do NOT make room reservations yourself. If you have questions regarding the hotel reservations, please contact Albert Sole Benet)
We recommend everybody stay at the AC-Almeria hotel, centrally located, where the meeting will be held. However for those seeking cheaper possibilities, there are two other hotels under option 2:
1.- Hotel AC Almeria (former Torreluz 4)
Link click HERERoom price: (Single or Double): 55 €) per night, breakfast included.
2. Hotels Torreluz III and Torreluz II, just in front of Hotel AC Almeria, are a somewhat cheaper option.
(Link to Torreluz III and Link to Torreluz II)
The prices for Torreluz III and Torreluz II are, respectively, 45 € and 40 € for individual rooms, breakfast included. Double rooms are 50 € and 45 € respectively.
Trip to the DESIRE field site
The Spanish DESIRE field site is in the municipality of Lorca, in the neighboring province of Murcia, 183 km from Almeria, about 2 h by bus. We’ll leave Almeria at 8:00. Arrival at the field site: 10:00. Coffee break. Visit and poster presentation of results until 13:00. Lunch in a typical restaurant (13:30-15:00). Afternoon-evening: irrigation agriculture in the Guadalentin basin and solar power plants. Visit of the town of Aledo and its tower from which we can see an abandoned urbanization and its geomorphic effects. Arrival at Almeria around 21:00.
At the beginning of autumn some showers might occur, which could give us the opportunity to see the boquera and the runoff-erosion plots at work.
Lorca (Murcia)
Average temperature
Average Monthly Precipitation
28 mm
27 mm
Travel Information
Almeria, coast of SE Spain, can be reached by plane, train, road and ship. Almeria International Airport (LEI) has regular flights to major European cities via either Madrid or Barcelona or direct low-cost flights to Brussels, London, Berlin, and some other cities. There are several daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona (Iberia, Ryanair, Spanair). The airport is about 8 km from downtown Almeria, and the cost of taxis should not be higher than 15 €. Almeria is also connected to the Spanish railway network though as distances to Europe are relatively large, travel durations might become excessive. Almeria is also connected to Europe through motorway E-15 and to northern Africa by ferries serving Melilla (Spain) and Nador (Morocco).

Organizing Committee
Yolanda Cantón, Francisco Domingo, Ashraf Afana.
Excursion leaders
Albert Solé-Benet, Joris de Vente, Yolanda Cantón.

Week schedule
3 Oct
4 Oct
5 Oct
6 Oct
7 Oct
Excursion (part of programme)
Optional excursions A and B
Meeting diner
Meeting dinner
Post-Congress Excursion (2 single excursions to choose from)
Maximum n. of participants
7th Oct.
Cabo de Gata – Nijar” Natural Park
Agriculture and tourism compatible with environmental protection. See details in annex 1.
50 (but we can find a Solution if more people are interested)
7th Oct.
Campo de Dalias (largest concentration of greenhouses in Europe) and the “Tabernas desert”
Greenhouse agriculture and overexploitation of water. Scenic arid landscapes and badlands and experimental site. See details in annex 2.
50 (but we can find a Solution if more people are interested)
Post meeting excursion includes excursion guide, lunch, and transport (bus or mini-bus); Fee: 50 € for each excursion (to be paid locally in cash).
These excursions can only be held if at least 15 people register. If less people register for one of the excursions, only the other excursion will be organized. In that case, those who registered for the excursion that cannot be organized can join the other excursion if they want.
The official currency of Spain is the Euro (€). There are ATM machines at the airport and everywhere in the city where to withdraw money with main cards (VISA, MASTER CARD, etc).
Banks are open from 8:15 to 13:30 and only very few open in the afternoon.

Citizens from some European and non-European countries are required to obtain a visa to enter Spain. In such cases we can provide invitation letters.
Since visas are never issued in Spain, you must apply for them before you leave your country of residency. Generally, you should apply for your visa about 8-12 weeks before the date of your arrival in Spain, normally through the Spanish consulate nearest to your residence. You must first have a valid passport with at least three months until expiry in order to apply, so be sure to allow adequate time to obtain or renew both the passport and get the visa application processed.
For additional information, please contact:
Other information about Almeria
Almeria sits at the foot of the Gador mountain (belonging to the Betic range) that is crowned by the spectacular Alcazaba, an Arab fortress with three huge walled enclosures built by Abderrahman III, the Caliph of Cordoba. In addition to tourism, Almeria has the largest surface of greenhouses in Europe concentrated in 3 areas around the city: Campo de Dalias at the west (about 20,000 ha), and campo de Almeria and Campo de Nijar at the East (over 5,000 ha).

People arriving at Almeria Airport (LEI) will be able to enjoy the city's historical sites, such as its grand Gothic-Renaissance-style cathedral, built in the 1500s. There are also a few interesting museums around Almeria, which show remnants of the region's long and fascinating history. The city is also known for its great Tapas bars, cafés, quaint shops and lengthy sandy beachfront, next to the Paseo Maritimo. This warm, sunny, historical region has a wide range of things to do.


Annex 1
Optional excursion to the Natural Park “Cabo de Gata – Nijar”
The excursion will consist in a visit to the Natural Park “Cabo de Gata – Níjar”, UNESCO-MAB biosphere reserve, combining very interesting marine and terrestrial ecosystems in one of the driest spots in Europe where tourism, mining, ecological agriculture and research activities try to get along.
The visit will include the following: scenic landscapes (beaches, lagoon and salt mining, columnar basalts, phonolithic columns, etc); traditional water harvesting systems (aljibes, foggaras and norias), park information center (house of volcanoes), abandoned gold mine, bentonite mining, ecological agriculture, EEZA-CSIC field site on hydro-ecological research (monitoring of water and CO2 fluxes from soils and alpha grass ecosystems, rainfall exclusion and runoff redistribution by alpha grass tussocks, biological soil crusts evolution under experimental scenarios).
Before the field guide is completed, attendants will find some information in:
Annex 2
Optional excursion to the Tabernas desert and to Campo de Dalias (greenhouse area)
The so-called Tabernas desert is an area a few km north of the city of Almeria containing one of the most scenic badlands in Spain developed on calcic-gypsiferous mudstones (or marls). EEZA-CSIC maintains an instrumented field site since 1990 for geo-ecological research (climate, erosion, runoff, plant community evolution, soil crusting).
The economic miracle of Almeria is mostly due to the prosperous greenhouse agriculture which developed since 1970 and now reaches over 30,000 ha, the largest part of it concentrated in the Campo de Dalias. The evolution of the different types of greenhouses will be observed at a private experimental research station in La Mojonera.
And just a few web sites about the Tabernas desert:
and about the Experimental Station (Fundacion CAJAMAR)


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