Mitzpe Ramon Branch
The Mitzpe Ramon Branch of the Arava and Dead Sea Science Center is a leading research and development organization in Israel. The center is located in Mitzpe Ramon and includes researchers in geology, hydrology, ecology, anthropology and social studies, and environmental education. The research team consists of five researchers with PhD degrees, seven research assistants and an administrative staff. The center initiates and promotes local, national and international projects in the fields of education, community, urban agriculture and tourism, including: CraterLand Geopark, LTSER platform and research station, emergency preparedness, urban desert agriculture, developing rock painting tourism, and the preservation of cultural heritage.
The Mitzpe Ramon Branch of the Arava and Dead Sea Science Center was established in 1990 as the Ramon Science Center (an independent body). In 2010, a unification process was initiated and the independent center became part of the Arava and Dead Sea Science Center. In January 2017, the branch was officially recognized.
Head of branch: Dr. Noa Avriel Avni, researcher in environmental education.
Dr. Noa Avriel Avni – Environmental Education
Dr. Elli Groner – Ecology
Dr. Yaron Finzi – Earth Sciences
Dr. Joshua Schmidt – Anthropology
Dr. Avshalom Babad – Hydrology
Lena Eyov – Yaron
Ariel Meroz – Yaron, Noa
Shaked Avni – Yaron
Nofit Gat – Noa
Adi Shefi – Elli
Tamir Rosenberg – Elli
Ruti Tzur – Secretary and Office Manager
Students at the branch:
Supervised by Dr. Noa Avriel Avni:
• Lior Solomovitch, PhD in Geography on the Development of Conversation Dynamics in a Multicultural Active Group, together with Prof. Avinoam Meir and Dr. Gilad Ravid, Ben Gurion University
• Tal Chen, Master in Environmental Education, on the importance of the term “ecosystem services” in environmental education, Kibbutzim College.
• Nofar Ben Arieh, Master in Environmental Education, on the use of puppets as a tool to voice the opinion of Bedouin women in unrecognized villages on the development of their settlement, Kibbutzim College.
Supervised by Dr. Yaron Finzi:
• Noam Gantz, Msc in Geology, on the evaluation of the activity of the Negev faults. Together with Dr. Michael Tsesarsky, Ben Gurion University.
Supervised by Dr. Elli Groner:
• Tanya Bird, PhD on biodiversity, stability and nature conservation in the Nitzanim dunes. Together with Puah Bar and Amos Buskila. Department of Geography, Ben Gurion University.
• Nitzan Segev, PhD on the influence of the oil spill on the Evrona reserve and its rehabilitation. Together with Oded Berger-Tal. Department of Ecology, The Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University.
• Shahar Cohen, MSc in Desert Ecology. Together with Michal Seguli. Department of Ecology, The Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University.
• Nora Hack, MSc on biodiversity and butterfly populations in the Negev and the Arava. Together with Guy Peer. University of Leipzig, Germany.
Supervised by Dr. Joshua Schmidt:
• Yifat Shapira, MA in Archeology of the Ancient Near East, on the development and preservation of rock paintings in the Negev Highlands, together with Prof. Steve Rosen, Ben Gurion University.
Volunteers at the branch:
Advancing the recognition of Crater Land Geopark:
– Efrat Kedem-Silbert, Dr. Yoav Avni, Nimrod Wieler and Yoash Limon (Steering Committee, Geopark)
– Dr. Lihu Kolton and Daria Alon (documentation of rocks and magmatic phenomena in Makhtesh Ramon)
– Ruti Gov (Production of a guide of the Around Ramon Trail)