Study Fields

  • Emergency Preparedness

    A multidisciplinary team of Dead Sea and Arava Science Center researchers are conducting a three year study aimed at improving individual and community earthquake preparedness. The study examines preparation occurring at the national, local and individual levels among peripheral school communities in southern Israel. Focusing on students, teachers and parents, the research combines quantitative and qualitative research methods to learn how school community members variously perceive their roles in preparing, coping and recovering from an earthquake.

  • Ecology

    The ecological research in the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center encompasses several systems, as well as many species of vegetation and animals. One of the main ecological topics is the demographic changes imposed upon the acacia populations along the Arava Rift, as well as across the Negev desert. During the last few decades, several observations revealed high mortality rates of acacias, and at the same time, low recruitment rates of young trees.

  • Rain, fluds and ground water

    The Dead Sea, the Arava and the Southern Negev are hyper-arid desert areas in which the average multi-year precipitation is less than 50 mm. There is great spatial-temporal variation of rainstorms. The origin of most rain events is the Red Sea trough; events are usually accompanied by thunder and lightning storms. Rain intensities are high and most of the rainfall is local. The rainstorms cause flash-flooding of streams.

  • Birdwatching

    The geographic location of the Arava and its primal landscapes make it one of the world's most important bird migration routes. The arid desert conditions and unique ecosystem enable rare bird species to nest and thrive. Among the most important species, desert birds such as the Arabian babbler, black tail, desert lark, desert swallow and warbler are common. The Arava is also used as a last resort in the country by rare species such as the acacia warbler, skylark, the desert owl, and recently, Nubian nightjars were observed in the salt flats.

  • Climate research

    The climate of southern Arava and Negev is classified as hyper-arid. The multi-annual average rainfall is less than 50 mm. In the past however, the region was more humid. This is evident based on sedimentary rocks and fossils that testify that freshwater bodies existed in the region. Also a detailed study of red and calcareous soils are also an indication of higher precipitation in the past.

  • Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture

    Biology and Biotechnology in the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center

    The Dead Sea and Arava Science Center is conducting research in cell biology and biotechnology in order to develop innovations based on fundamental research. The areas of study are: renewable energy, medicines from nature, bacterial microbiology, desert flora and more. These studies have the potential to develop towards product production for industry, and patent registration.

  • Researching Sinkholes and Undercutting Streams

    Sinkholes along the shores of the Dead Sea are currently forming very rapidly. They form in alluvial fans of rivers that flow into the Dead Sea and in mud flats that are exposed due to the declining water level of the sea. This decline caused instability in the groundwater-seawater interface zone, and groundwater is dissolving the salt layer found 20-50 m below the surface. This dissolution creates cavities within the salt layers, leading to collapse of the alluvial material above. Sinkholes usually appear in clusters and are arranged along and parallel to the rift's tectonic structures.

  • Tourism

    Tourism is defined by the World Tourism Organization as an activity in which people spend time outside their natural environment for the purpose of sightseeing, leisure, vacation, business or any other activity of a similar nature, usually for short periods that do not exceed one year. The tourism industry is one of the major economic motivations of the twenty-first century and its impact on human culture and the environment is very high.

  • Earth Sciences

    The four extensions of the Science Center perform research in a vast area with a huge variety of importance and unique geological and hydrological phenomena. Arava Valley is located along the Dead Sea Transform which is an active tectonic boundary. The Arava consists of a wide range of landscapes and rock types - alluvial rivers, sand dunes, playa and lake sediments and layers of salt. Rocks exposed along the flanks of the valley include marine rocks that formed in the Tethys Sea, igneous rocks and Nubian sandstones.

  • Renewable energy

    The southern branch of the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center is rapidly progressing to become Israel's "Silicon Valley" for research and development of renewable energy. The Science Center researchers are a major component of this developing trend.