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Second RTG retreat of the ECOSENSE PhDs

How are conditions for agriculture in the foothills of the Alps changing as a result of climate change? And how do you measure greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere?

These and other questions could be answered at the annual retreat of the Research Training Group of the SFB Ecosense of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in early August.

This year we had the opportunity to visit two particularly impressive places of climate research in Germany.

We were guests in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where the KIT Campus Alpin, as well as the environmental research station Schneefernerhaus on the Zugspitze opened their doors for us and allowed a rare look behind the scenes.

For example, the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU) of KIT uses measurements and modeling to investigate the effects of climate change on the ecosystem of the Alpine and Pre-Alpine region.

After lectures about their current work and a look into laboratories and greenhouses, we got another tour through the foothills of the Alps. On this occasion, we visited one of the field measuring stations, which researches the influence of climate change on the soils found there. Among other things, future recommendations for action for agriculture, which is mainly dependent on cattle farming, are derived from the results of this research.

The Schneefernerhaus, a former hotel, forms special advantages for atmospheric observation with its exposed location below the Zugspitze peak. But environmental and high-altitude medicine as well as the regional climate are also researched here. Researchers with different professional backgrounds from all over Germany conduct their experiments here.

During our exclusive look behind the scenes, we learned not only about the work but also about the special technical challenges involved in operating at such a special location. Not only the number, but also the ingenuity of the partly self-built devices or the knowledge that no measurement influences the other is impressive.

These impressions can also be transferred to our still young SFB Ecosense. In the future, we will also operate a large number of sensors in our forest. Likewise, the successful cooperation between different disciplines and institutes at our hosts, which is reflected at Ecosense, shows that we are on the right track.

After visiting the Schneefernerhaus, another part of the group set off from the Zugspitzplatt to the summit.

What was a last-minute idea a few days earlier turned into a real team-building event in dense fog, which was rewarded again and again with a fantastic view of the summit through the breaking sun. (Text: Johannes Klüppel)


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First RTG retreat of the ECOSENSE PhDs

In December 2022, the first annual ECOSENSE retreat with 20 members has taken place in the Black Forest. The motto of the retreat was scientific communication to develop a common vocabulary of environmental scientists, engineers and computer scientists. In this context, the RTG (Research Training Group) was introduced to the Ph. D. candidates as a perfect environment to foster interdisciplinary training of doctoral research.

Another item on the agenda was a guided tour through the nature reserve on Feldberg from HAUS DER NATUR. Further, the members of the project visited the University forest and had a deeper insight into the different tree species, their necessities and their functions.

RTG Retreat 2022