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Datum: 06.02.2020

TRACES Workshop in Ecuador

Traces_workshop.jpgJust as the new year starts, professors and senior scientists of the Faculty for Science and Technology of the Universidad del Azuay (UDA) together with Dr. Valerie Graw, scientific coordinator at the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn, and Jun.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Rienow, holding the chair of the interdisciplinary geoinformation science group of the Department of Geography at the University of Bochum, met in Cuenca, Ecuador.

During the previous year, the idea developed to establish a transdisciplinary center between the universities. TRACES (transdisciplinary center for coupled socio-ecological systems) should range from Disaster Risk Monitoring Aspects towards the integration of spatial Citizen Science Research including the local population in the urban areas as well as indigenous communities of the rural areas in Ecuador to build new research fields and structures. TRACES further aims to support the Global Development Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals through transdisciplinary research. The workshop, which took place from January 6-7, 2020 in Cuenca, Ecuador, was supported and accompanied by the Rector of UDA, Francisco Salgado, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Andres López.

The collaboration grew out of the project “SE4Amazonian – Participatory Mapping to Support Sustainable Energy for All in the Amazon” funded by the World Bank. Here, firstly due to the use of Earth Observation information and analysis the location and dispersion of indigenous groups in the Amazon of Ecuador were detected to further assess the actual energy demand as well as community needs of the here living communities. Due to the direct integration of indigenous groups in the project valuable synergy effects were built which should also be further strengthened within TRACES.

The use of Earth Observation Information in Ecuador is currently rather marginal. This, the ZFL of the University of Bonn would like to improve due to a mutual teaching and research exchange between the universities. Planned activities are further the joint supervision of research theses by students of all involved universities, joint publications as well as an increase of the established network in project collaborations. A motivated team is looking forward to the new challenges coming up in this new research year.

Foto: V. Graw