One hundred multiethnic students, half Israeli and half from abroad, study environmental science at a remote and remarkable desert oasis: The Sde Boker campus of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Here, 55 kilometers from the nearest city and in the middle of the boiling and barren Negev desert, they learn a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems in desert areas and take that knowledge back to their hometowns. Solar energy, desert ecology and architecture, and wastewater resource management are among the subjects taught.
Recently, 500 activists, academics and policymakers from 50 countries came to the campus for the third biannual International Conference on Drylands, Deserts, and Desertification, produced in partnership with UNESCO.
The campus houses the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, which has many active projects in collaboration with the Palestinian Authority and neighboring Arab states as well as Tunisia and Morocco.