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Current Projects

This page provides an overview of the projects we are currently involved in. A variety of projects is already successfully completed and in addition, several dissertations and habilitations emerge at RSRG.

SEBAS

The project "SEnsing Biodiversity Across Scales (SEBAS)" in DFG Priority Programme 1374 – "Biodiversity Exploratories" was raised by PD Dr. Olena Dubovyk (Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL), Department of Geography, University of Bonn) and PD Dr. Anja Linstädte (Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), University of Bonn).

In the past decades, most grassland ecosystems in Central Europe were transformed by higher fertilization rates in combination with increased frequencies of mowing or grazing. While this land-use intensification improved the delivery of the Ecosystem Service (ES) of forage, it has in many cases decreased biodiversity and the delivery of other ESs. In this context, there is an urgent need for a more mechanistic understanding of land-use effects on the biodiversity – ecosystem functioning (BEF) and the biodiversity-ecosystem service (BES) relationship. Due to inherent spatial mismatches between ecological processes and management units in coupled social-ecological systems, though, this is a challenging task. In our proposed project SEBAS, we aim at improving this mechanistic understanding by integrating site-based ecological research on land-use intensity and six ‘essential biodiversity variables’ (EBVs) with satellite Remote Sensing of these proxies. We will specifically explore linkages between functional and structural diversity and the ecosystem service of forage production, focusing on observation units relevant for decisions-making, i.e. meadows/pastures, farms, and landscapes. We hypothesize that (i) the five EBVs as affected by different land-use intensities could be derived at multiple spatial scales using multi-modal satellite image time series data calibrated and validated with existing and newly collected data on land-use intensity and EBVs; and that (ii) land-use effects on BEF/BES relationships will vary across spatial scales, with functional and structural diversity playing a key role for the supply and temporal stability of forage production. The output of the project will be a set of spatially explicit satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle based EBVs products, as well as novel methodologies relying on a number of multi-scale and multi-modal Remote Sensing datasets (PlanetScope, RapidEye, Sentinel 1/2, Landsat and MODIS) and novel machine learning and hybrid models. Via space-for-time substitutions for climate change and land-use change, we will also address interactive effects of these two main drivers of global change on the BEF/BES relationship. We will formalize drivers’ direct and indirect (biodiversity-mediated) effects on forage production through a social-ecological systems approach, and quantify them via structural equation models to foster a deeper understanding of ecosystem functioning and ES supply in Central European grasslands.

For further information, please contact:

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GlobeDrought

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GlobeDrought (https://grow-globedrought.net/) aims to develop a web-based information system for comprehensively characterizing drought events. The project will produce a spatially explicit description of drought risks by considering three components: drought hazard, exposure and vulnerability. It will investigate how droughts impact water resources, crop productivity, trade in food products and the need for international food aid. In terms of methodology, the project aims to link satellite-based remote sensing and analyses of precipitation data with hydrological modelling and yield modelling. This will produce indicators for characterizing meteorological, hydrological and agricultural droughts, which in turn will make it possible to quantify drought risks. Analyses of socioeconomic data will provide the basis for quantifying exposure and vulnerability. Within the framework of a co-design process, users and stakeholders will help to shape the content and technical design of the drought information system.

For further information, please contact:

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Columbus Eye - Live-Imagery from the ISS in Schools

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The project ‘Columbus Eye – Live-Imagery from the ISS in Schools’ established a learning portal on earth observation from the ISS (http://www.columbuseye.uni-bonn.de/). The portal makes use of NASA’s High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment which features four cameras observing the earth 24/7. The main goal of Columbus Eye is to enable children to observe our planet from the astronaut’s perspective while applying professional remote sensing analysis tools. 

While the archive provides spectacular footage of e.g. the Mediterranean Sea, the Himalaya, and sunrises available for everybody, the observatory was specifically constructed for pupils and teachers. Here, it is possible to learn about processes and phenomena of the coupled human-environment system in an interactive manner. The pupils can conduct easy-to-use image processing analyses on their own. In doing so, they get the opportunity to derive a map out of an HDEV image and hence turn a continuous spatial texture into a discrete spatial pattern of land uses. The project is carried out by the Remote Sensing Working Group, Institute of Geography, University of Bonn. Columbus Eye is supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) following a decision of the German Bundestag (funding code 50JR1307).

For further information about Columbus Eye, please contact:

 

 

 

FIS 2 - Remote Sensing in Schools

Fernerkundung in Schulen

Integration of applied remote sensing methods in the secondary school education (http://www.fis.uni-bonn.de/)

Satellite-based remote sensing is a fast growing technology in Europe with an increasing demand for qualified labor. While awareness of the public is risen by everyday use of satellites for weather monitoring and weather forecast, the increasing importance of high resolution satellites is hardly noticed. However, satellite imagery became more and more part of our everyday life and is e.g. increasingly used for detection and report of natural disasters or global climate change. 

Among that, a huge archive of images is provided by Google earth for free. Furthermore, Google Earth provides a huge picture archive for free. Due to the increasing importance of satellite images, there is moreover an increasing need to integrate this data in schools and for education. Accordingly, the work with satellite images is explicitly required to be included in the current educational schemes. The advantage of satellite images compared to traditional media is on the one hand higher accuracy and relevance. On the other hand, diverse methodological skills can be promoted through the study of satellite images. On the other hand, diverse methodological skills can be promoted through the independent analysis of satellite images. The overall objective of this project is to teach pupils of the secondary school education the basics of remote sensing and the evaluation of this image data with regard to content-related issues. The implementation of this objective is linked to the development of a sustainable and cross-disciplinary concept. The project "Remote Sensing in schools" (FIS) is carried out by the Remote Sensing Research Group at the Department of Geography of the University of Bonn, in cooperation with several partner schools. The overall objective of the project is to teach the basics of satellite-based remote sensing as well as the evaluation of the image data with respect to content-related issues to pupils of lower and upper secondary education. The project is supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) (funding code 50EE0615).

For further information about Fernerkundung in Schulen (FIS), please contact:

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