Nineteen upcoming scientists from 15 countries were guests of EOC in recent weeks. From 3 to 14 July the postgraduate students participated in the Summer School “Airborne Remote Sensing for Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables in Forest Ecosystems” (RS4forestEBVs).
The overall theme of the summer school was detection of so-called “Essential Biodiversity Variables” (EBV) in a variety of remote sensing data sets for use in describing and monitoring the biodiversity of habitats (such as forests). These metrics include species incidence, plant characteristics (for example, nitrogen content), structural parameters (like land cover or height of vegetation) and ecosystem processes (such as phenology, primary production or disruption caused by forest fires).
The participants progressed through an intensive 14-day training course and learned firsthand how to plan, carry out and assess a successful measurement campaign. The two weeks of training were divided into a practical part in the Bavarian Forest National Park, where they collected both ground and aerial measurements, and an analytical part at EOC, where they learned different processing and evaluation procedures for handling the data they had collected, both in theory and practice. They made use of hyperspectral data in the optical and thermal ranges as well as laser measurements collected with LiDAR equipment.
The summer school was conducted as part of the EUFAR project (European Facility for Airborne Research), which is financed by the European Commission as part of its 7th Framework Programme. EOC participated prominently in the organisation of this event, in cooperation with the Faculty of Geoinformation Sciences and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and the Bavarian Forest National Park management. In addition, it contributed the expertise of scientists from EOC and the Remote Sensing unit at Würzburg University in 12 of the 20 lectures.
By nurturing the next generation of scientists, DLR and its networking partners have made another contribution to the future of aerial environmental monitoring.