My activities at the University of Osnabrück
In 2010, I earned the Professorship for Ecological Modelling in joint appointment of the University of Osnabrück (UOS) and the UFZ. Since then, I am also full member of the Institute of Environmental Systems Research (USF) that belongs to the Division of Mathematics and Informatics of the UOS and is designed as platform for fostering collaboration of various institutes on environmental systems. As UFZ and OESA, the USF aims at the analysis of environmental systems and the development of sustainable solutions to complex socio-environmental problems such as the management of
- chemicals in the environment,
- water resources,
- biological systems and ecosystem services
under global change. It combines environmental and agent-based modelling with economic valuation and governance research. USF runs a BSc Curriculum in “Applied Systems Sciences” and a MSc Curriculum in “Environmental Systems and Resource Management” where the students are provided with formal skills (mathematics, programming, model building and analysis, development of tools for decision-support), problem-oriented skills, and expertise in system-relevant disciplines (e.g. biology, physics, geography, macro-economics, geoinformatics, or psychology). This profile is unique in Germany and a perfect preparation for later work in environmental modelling.
My activities at the USF consist of three pillars:
Compact Courses on aspects of modelling for ecological risk analysis: These courses consist of lectures providing an overview over ecological risks and their implications for human well-being, relevant model types and examples of their application to a broad range of recent research questions on the assessment, management and governance of ecological risks. They also provide hands-on knowledge with a tutored introduction into software packages (e.g. R) and the group work on an own modelling project. The courses exist in two variants that are offered bi-annually:
- Modelling for Ecological Risk Analysis I: An Introduction
- Modelling for Ecological Risk Analysis II: Advanced Aspects
Seminars and Excursions providing insights in the relevance of applied system science in various fields of the labor market (environmental research, management, education, consulting, informatics/ programming, industry) for motivation and orientation. Within the seminar
- Applied system sciences in institutions of environmental research and policy,
the attendees can interview alumni of the UOS curriculum “Applied System Sciences” on their recent professional activities, the relevance of approaches and methods provided during their university education, and their experiences gained in terms of “dos and donts” in carrier development. Integral part of this seminar is a 2-days scientific excursion to institutions of environmental research and policy such as the UFZ and the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in Dessau.
Internship and graduation projects at the UFZ: OESA is permanently offering themes for attractive internship or graduation (BSc, MSc) projects in ecological and social-ecological modelling. A large number of UOS students have already used this opportunity to familiarize with recent environmental science and the scientific life at a research center.