Faculty Mobility and Training Workshops

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The University of Hohenheim (UHOH) Professors Workshops at the American University of Armenia

The workshops, taught by UHOH staff, have the format of courses open to all AUA staff as well as, if space allows, external participants (people involved in biodiversity conservation projects or land management agencies). The workshops provide scientific foundations, e.g. on the Ecosystems (ES) framework, and at the same time demonstrate how concepts and methods can be transferred to the practice of teaching and research on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. A special focus is on a critical reflection of the potentials and limitations of the ES framework. Therefore, the character of the workshops is strongly interactive and involve “real-world-focused” practical exercises, e.g. with regard to an ongoing community planning process.

Workshop 1

May 10, 2018 – Public Participation GIS and Ecosystem Services, a Public talk by Prof. Claudia Bieling, University of Hohenheim, at the American University of Armenia

The workshop was an introduction to a new cooperation project between the AUA and University of Hohenheim (Germany). The ecosystem services concept has become a key tool in strategies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, effective in terms of raising public awareness on the environment and its values as well as informing, planning and decision-making. Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) approaches to ecosystem services are a particularly vibrant field at the international level as they allow integrating information on perceived ecosystem services with biophysical data (e.g. on biodiversity, erosion processes) and expert-based management plans. The GAtES project, a four-year cooperation between AUA and University of Hohenheim (Germany), is taking up these new ideas. It aims at supporting the Armenian academic community in acquiring knowledge on the ecosystem concept and PPGIS-based methods and how they can be used in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Workshop 2

September 24-28, 2018  – Training on Ecosystem Services and Public Participation GIS at AUA

The University of Hohenheim (UHOH) and the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment organized a training on Public Participation GIS for Ecosystem Services within the framework of the GAtES Project

The training was led by Professor Claudia Bieling, University of Hohenheim, and Dr. Maria Garcia-Martin, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (see bios below). It covered the following topics:

  • Ecosystem services and their role in human-shaped landscapes
  • Assessment possibilities
  • Payment schemes
  • Integration in landscape management
  • Introduction to PPGIS
  • Interviewing and surveying techniques
  • Analysis possibilities in PPGIS

The lectures were supplemented by practical work on:

  • Creating and conducting a PPGIS survey
  • Data preparation
  • Data visualization
  • Non-spatial analysis
  • Spatial analysis
  • Results interpretation



About the Trainers

Professor Claudia Bieling

Claudia Bieling holds the Chair of Societal Transition and Agriculture at the Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, Germany. Her work is rooted in transdisciplinary sustainability research and focuses on the interface of ecological and social dimensions in land-use and food systems. She works with the concepts of cultural landscapes and social-ecological resilience and draws on empirical research experience in a variety of collaborative projects (with a focus on Central and South-Western Europe). Claudia Bieling publishes extensively on land management and sustainability and edited two books with Cambridge University Press (“Resilience and the Cultural Landscape” in 2012, “The Science and Practice of Landscape Stewardship” in 2017). She serves as an associate editor for the journal “Conservation Letters”. Claudia Bieling holds a postdoctoral degree (“Habilitation”) in Landscape Management and a Ph.D. in Forest and Environmental Policy (both from University of Freiburg, Germany). She received her Diploma (equivalent to M.Sc.) in Forest Sciences from University of Göttingen, Germany.

Researcher María García-Martín

María García-Martín is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Social-Ecological Interactions in Agricultural System at the Universities of Göttingen and Kassel. She also collaborates with the Chair of Societal Transition and Agriculture at the University of Hohenheim in the DAAD-funded cooperation project GAtES (German-Armenian Network on the Advancement of Public Participation GIS for Ecosystem Services as a Means for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development).

She holds a degree in Geography, a Master in Land Planning and Sustainable Local Development (Geography Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), and a Ph.D. in Landscape Sustainability (Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg).