Summer School 2020 -postponed to 2021

Land Use and Ecosystem Change

August 2021, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

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 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen).  Master and doctoral students are invited to learn about and discuss a wide range of issues related to ecosystem functioning, socio-ecological systems and land use change, in particular:

  1. Both the biophysical and human processes and concepts needed to understand the broader issues of socio-ecological systems. This includes 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 physical and human environmental changes affect socio-ecological systems, including 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 with student presentations and a field excursion. Participation is limited to a max. of 35 students. The cost for travel and accommodation is the student’s own responsibility; KIT will cover lunches, materials and the field excursion.

Lecturers (KIT): Prof. Dr. Almut Arneth, Prof. Dr. Mark Rounsevell, Dr. Richard Fuchs, Dr. Sam Rabin, Dr. Heera Lee, Dr. David Martin Belda, Dr. Calum Brown, Karina Winkler, Dr. Penelope Whitehorn,  Dr. Anita Bayer, Dr. Bumsuk Seo.

Applications: Application deadline 31 March 2021. Please send, in a single file, your CV and a letter of motivation (limited to one page), signed by your supervisor, to:


Day 1, 9AM
Past & present land use change
Practical on drivers & processes of land use change

Day 2
Observational data of land use change
Practical on observational land use change data

Day 3
Land use change modelling
Practical on land use change modelling services

Day 4
Field trip to local farms.    Day 5 is a free day.

Day 6
a) Ecosystems & land use change
b) Ecosystem functioning & ecosystem services

Day 7
Species & biodiversity
Practical on landscape scale analyses of species and biodiversity

Day 8
Socio-ecological systems
Practical on people, biodiversity & ecosystem

Wrap-up and close (5PM)

This summer school contributes to the Global Land Programme (GLP) and the Analysis & Integrated Modelling of the Earth System (AIMES) project of Future Earth.





Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Campus Alpin

Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19

82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen





Past Summer Schools

Summer School 2019

Learn more →
Field Work