Georgian Technical University (GTU) and Polish Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU) are cooperating since 2019 within a Memorandum of Understanding and are implementing project of international mobility of staff through Erasmus+ Training Mobility (KA107). On 21 to 25 of June 2021 Ilia Kunchulia, PhD student and Assistant of the GTU Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Biosystems Engineering has visited NCU’s Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Department of Soil Science and Landscape Management to share Georgian experience in soil classification and to conduct trainings within Erasmus+ mobility project coordinated by NCU.
According to Erasmus+ scientific personal mobility plan, collaboration between relevant faculties were deepened and as a result visit of Polish representatives was planned in July 2021. Besides that, future plans were drafted, including identification of possible funding sources for joint scientific research projects.
During the visit young Georgian researcher participated in WRB Soil Classification Intensive Field Workshop, that was led by Dr. Marcin Świtoniak. Field works and soil classification were conducted according to WRB classification system (World Reference Base for Soil Resources, IUSS 2015). This system of classification is based of map legends by FAO and is an “international language” for soil scientists (Lingua Franca). During the workshop Ilia has shared information and experience about WRB classification in Georgia, more particularly interpretations of soils that were classified according to genetic horizons rather than diagnostic horizons on example of lesser Caucasus mountains, Trialeti Range.
The training mobility consisted not only by visiting the faculty and the laboratories at NCU, but conducting discussions regarding challenges that are facing soil laboratories in Georgia in terms of conducting analysis using modern methodologies. Dr.Pitor Hulis, which is head of laboratories at the faculty, organized a study tour for Ilia and showed him all relevant laboratories, including sharing information on ongoing research processes by researchers and students. The discussions also covered import of new knowledge and experience in Georgia regarding analyzing soil organic carbon contents.
Cultural part of the training mission was visiting a Polish vineyard, where soils were investigated at three locations and after the work was finished, host winemaker offered guests 4 different kind of local wines (made out of 7 different varieties of grapes), told history of the vineyard that was founded in 2010 on vicinity of Vistula river basin and that is second oldest vineyard in the region.
Overall the trip was successful and efficient. It was clear that Georgian Technical University must increase efforts to position as a scientific and educational destination for international researchers and students, especially in the field of soil science as Georgian unique diversity of soils, gives ability to conduct here man different kind of researches and field events.