liveSciences³ Summer Campus 2022 − Impressions
The Summer Campus was one of the most powerful liveSciences³ events important for all project areas.
First, offering an interdisciplinary and international student research experience in Göttingen.
Second, providing a space to live and extend academic collaboration within the life sciences network.
Shaping Future Landscapes was the theme of the liveSciences³ Summer Campus 2022 in Göttingen. From August 15 to 26, 2022, nearly 30 Göttingen and international students, together with numerous experienced scientists from Göttingen University and liveSciences³ partner universities (University of Talca, Chile; Costa Rica Institute of Technology, Costa Rica; and University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), explored global perspectives on the innovative and sustainable transformations of landscapes. Detailed information on the programme can be found on the website of the Summer Campus 2022.
During several field trips, students from all life science disciplines (agriculture / forestry / biology) learned about examples of future landscape management. Within a project work, they explored opportunities for sustainable production and effects on biodiversity. The project results were prepared as videos, and the students were trained and supported in creating those during the Summer Campus.
The online pre-campus was a valuable component for the successful onboarding of all participants: Getting to know each other, learning how to use the learning management platform, and getting a taste of the upcoming programme was on the agenda.
The change of perspective and the interdisciplinary research-oriented work in international teams was a special concern of the cross-faculty event; as well as linking scientific work and strengthening digital skills. Thanks to the joint commitment of scientists and project staff from Göttingen and the partner universities, numerous ideas for (research) projects were (further) developed during the Summer Campus, and the network got stronger. The following quote from the event evaluation can be taken as a representative conclusion: "The Summer Campus was an amazing experience. I hope this format can continue!”. Please check the following video to get the impression of Summer Campus 2022.
Tree Project − Continuous cover forestry in Central Europe
Forest ecosystems play a crucial role for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. They provide multiple ecosystem services and functions (timber, climate regulation, space for recreation, etc.). Therefore, modern, multi-functional forest management follows the principles of continuous cover forestry (no clear felling, sustainable harvesting, promotion of “close-to-nature” forest structures).
The Project Tasks...
- measuring the 3D forest structure of managed and unmanaged forests using terrestrial laser scanning;
- processing and analyzing the 3D data;
- presenting and visualizing how forests develop over time.
Our Scientific Support: Martin Ehbrecht & Dominik Seidel (University of Göttingen)
Cow Project − Extensive grazing in farming systems
‘Eat less beef’. The press and academic literature voice it. Cattle are seen as terrible for the environment due to their high climate and resource intensity. They fart and burp methane, use large tracts of land, much water, and erode soils. From the cows’ perspective, it does not sound better, suffering physically and emotionally, and being kept in confined living spaces. Awareness is rising worldwide. Yet it is unlikely we all become vegans in the short-mid run. Is there a realistic intermediate step? More sustainable farm practices and reduced beef consumption might be the answer.
The Project Tasks...
- evaluating, comparing & discussing certain aspects in extensive grassland-beef production systems: Environment, animal health & welfare, farm economics;
- discussing current sustainability challenges for farmers & supporting policies;
- conducting field interviews & field evaluation protocols.
Our Scientific Support: Karen Arcia (University of Göttingen)
Snail Project − Management and extremes shaping snail habitats
Calcareous dry grasslands − their high species richness is a result of vegetation history, variation of extreme habitat conditions, and management. Extensive grazing promoted open conditions for light-demanding species and reduced nutrient levels and competition by grasses, shrubs, and trees. Changes in the economy, policy, and land use strongly affected these ecosystems: They were considered less valuable for agricultural productivity, were used as tree plantations or gradually became forests. In the last decades, though, nature conservation authorities and local initiatives have tried to protect specific sites by selective management (e.g., manual removal of invasive plants).
The Project Tasks...
- supporting the scientific evaluation of site conditions & the success of management actions;
- assessing vegetation structures & identifying target species, such as rare snails;
- performing ecological measurements to describe microclimate conditions.
Our Scientific Support: Dr. Florian Goedecke (University of Göttingen), Walter Wimmer (NLWKN, BS)
To meet the liveSciences³ goals, the Summer Campus was an essential event addressing the objectives of all project areas valuable to strengthen international cooperation. Both stakeholders from the University of Göttingen and the liveSciences³ partner universities were involved in developing and implementing the event and respective resources.
- Experience international collaboration: Contacts between partners (admin staff, scientists, educators, lecturer, etc.) & students and across levels & disciplines;
- Strengthen and expand collaboration, establish new contacts and identify further joint (research and academic) projects;
- Change perspectives; enable interdisciplinary work (across disciplines and faculties), also across program boundaries and levels (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.);
- Develop & implement new formats and thus involve students as partners, as well as strengthen the digital competencies of both students and educators.
- Integrate online formats to improve successful onboarding;
- Involve international partners and "local" scientists and teachers in the program to foster exchange and collaboration within the network;
- Combine a variety of formats in the program (excursions, workshops, keynotes, social activities, etc.) to enable an interactive exchange;
- Prepare, equip and use LMS (Stud.IP) to support the event organization and learning process and define communication channels;
- At least B2 as English level for participating students to ensure exchange and collaboration.
Prof. Dr. Hiltraud Casper-Hehne
Head of project
Dr. Anne Sennhenn
Telefon: +49 (0)551 39 21294
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