Overview: Food and bioenergy demands of a growing global population and societies’ changing lifestyles are increasing the pressures on land and ecosystems. Further pressures arise from the demands on land resources for other ecosystem services, and the variable (often negative) impacts of climate change on plant productivity. These multiple, often seemingly conflicting demands on land and ecosystems are a considerable stumbling-block for achieving sustainability goals. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will run an international Summer School on the topic of land use and ecosystem change during August 2020 at the KIT-Campus Alpin, IMK-IFU in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, introducing master and doctoral students to a wide range of issues covering:
1. Both the biophysical and human processes and concepts needed to understand the broader issues of socio-ecological systems. This will include, amongst others, ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, ecosystem services, resilience, vulnerability, risk management, tipping-points, sustainability and related concepts in the field. We will also explore current understanding of how environmental change (both physical and human changes in the environment) will affect socio-ecological systems. This will include content on international assessment processes such as the IPCC and IPBES.
2. Different aspects of land use change processes across geographic scales and for the past, present and future drivers of change. This will include, for example, land abandonment, extensification vs intensification,
deforestation, the role of social networks and knowledge diffusion, the role of pollinators and land
management. There will be a focus on land use change assessment methods, including the role of
observational data (e.g. from remote sensing and other sources) and land use modelling approaches using interactive exercises and case studies.
Format: The summer school will include a mix of lectures, practical exercises and student presentations and a field excursion in and around the German Alps. The School is open to students currently studying for an MSc or PhD degree with backgrounds in environmental sciences, geography, environmental economics, meteorology and ecology. There is a maximum of 35 student places available.
Applications: Applications are open until 31 March 2020. The cost for travel and accommodation is the student’s own responsibility; KIT will cover the remaining cost (lunches, materials and the field excursion). If you wish to apply please send a CV and a letter of motivation (limited to one page), signed by your supervisor, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applicants will be notified in April 2020.