BaCaTeC-Summer School 2010

Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner

Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences
University of Bayreuth

Room 1.17
Universitätsstr. 30
95440 Bayreuth

Phone: +49 921 55 2373
Fax: +49 921 55 2334

Prof. Dr. Roland Geyer

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
University of California

3426 Bren Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131

Phone: +1 805 893 7234 
Fax: +1 805 893 6113 

Assessing and Communicating the Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Combination of Remote Sensing, Web Mapping and Life Cycle Assessment for Better Decision Support

October 11 - 15, 2010, University of Bayreuth

More Information

Global change of land use and land cover has severe impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems and the services they provide. The summer school's goal is to learn about innovations in Information and Communication IC Technologies helpful to generate knowledge on changes of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Such technologies are Remote Sensing, Web Mapping and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). In combination they allow to better assess the ecological impact of land use and land intensive products (e.g., from agriculture, forestry, mining). Even more important they can channel this ecological information from science to decision-makers in industries, NGOs and governmental organizations as well as to consumers. Especially Web Mapping technologies as provided by Google together with decision support tools like LCA have a great potential to inform decision-makers about ecological problems worldwide.

The participating students will learn about the potentials and limitations of the three technologies to assess the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Based on this they will discuss with scientists and business people how to link the three technologies for designing decision support tools which address global ecological change.


Final report

In the week of October 11th to 15th students and lecturers from around the world met at the Castle Thurnau in Bavaria, Germany to discuss and exchange information on biodiversity and ecosystem service loss.

This year, the annual Summer School of the masters program of Global Change Ecology on “Assessing and Communicating the Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” took place at the charming Castle Thurnau, Germany. This Summer School was organized by Prof. Thomas Koellner (University of Bayreuth, Professorship for Ecological Services) together Prof. Roland Geyer (UC Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Sciences & Management). Within the framework of the Summer School students and scientists of diverse universities and nations came together to discuss the summer school topic in seminars and workshops. This exciting meeting of scientists and students was supported by the Bavarian Californian Technology Center (BaCaTeC).

This marks the occurrence of the third Summer School within the – by the Elite Network of Bavaria ENB supported – Master program Global Change Ecology of the Universities Bayreuth, Würzburg and Augsburg. It is, however, the first collaboration of Bavarian universities with a Californian university (UC Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Sciences & Management) in this context.

The topic of the Summer School finds it roots in global environmental changes. Through changes in land use the biodiversity and ecosystem services – such as the filter capacity of soil on the quality and quantity of ground water, or the pollination services of insects in agriculture – can be strongly affected and diminished. The main question addressed here is how to evaluate and communicate these ecological impacts. Precisely this was discussed by the ca. 50 participants of the Summer School from around the world (Central Asia, Africa, South and North America, Far East and Europe). The goal herein was to learn and exchange information about new technologies such as Remote Sensing, Web Mapping and Life Cycle Assessment. These tools make it possible to calculate the ecological impact of land uses as well as on agricultural and forest products. The deciding factor of research and assessment results is how to make them useful and understandable for decision makers in politics and industry.


In addition to attending workshops and seminars, the participants of the Summer School were also able to see more of the region of Oberfranken (Upper Franconia). A tour through the historical town of Thurnau, under blue skies and with beautiful fall weather was one of the first cultural experiences for the participants. Subsequently, on an excursion to the Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz), lead by Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein of the University of Bayreuth, impressions of the cultural landscape and geological distinctness of the region could be gained.

To summarize, the Summer School, in which new methods for the communication of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services were exchanged, can be marked as a successful week.

BaCaTeC Sommerschule: Structure in Biology – Key to Understanding


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