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Scientific Conference 2023

2 November 2023 from 13:00 to 5 November 2023 from 13:00 Europe/Jena


Forest under Pressure

The majority of current forest ecosystems are subject to a number of natural disturbances (e.g. drought and extreme weather events) that can adversely affect their health and vitality by causing tree mortality or reducing their ability to provide goods and services. Extended to a larger scale, these outcomes will have multiple effects on biosphere-atmosphere interactions. This will play an important role in future water-carbon cycle feedbacks through complex effects on forest biophysical properties and biogeochemical cycles. Understanding the dynamics, processes, and effects of tree mortality and related forest die-offs from drought is a vital step in identifying innovative practices and success factors to mitigate these effects. This requires crossing scales and disciplines ranging from physiology and ecology to vegetation modelling and forest management. We aim to gather a broad range of observational, theoretical, and experimental studies, spanning a range of scales and conditions often characterised by a multidisciplinary approach.

Our Motivation

Recognising the urgency of the situation, scientists, researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders need to come together to share knowledge, expertise, and innovative solutions to tackle this complex issue. This will ensure the sustainable management and conservation of forests for present and future generations. Our institute of Geography is carrying out research in the Hainich National Park in human and physical geography, as well as remote sensing and GIS on this particular topic. Through interdisciplinary approaches and evidence-based discussions, a scientific conference can foster collaborations, generate new ideas, and inform policy decisions to effectively address the pressing challenges faced by forests worldwide. Together with our Institute of Geography and local authorities we want to show some examples of how sustainable forest management can be addressed.

90 Euro

Sponsored & supported by:

  • ThüringenForst
  • Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
  • Hainich Nationalpark
  • Digital Forest Project

The SciCon2023 is taking place in the Hainich National Park in the wooden heart in the middle of Germany. The accommodation is located on a green meadow in the middle of beech forests (UNESCO World Heritage Site). It is the ideal starting point for our excursions and field work. We can relax at the bonfire in the evenings after a long day in the field or chill in the sauna (so don’t forget to bring your swimwear and towel).

Since we are literally in the middle of a forest, there is no public transportation to get there. The nearest train station is Mühlhausen/Thüringen, approx. an hour apart from Erfurt.

Here are the three possible routes from Erfurt to Mühlhausen:

  • Departure Erfurt at 12:33 – Arrival Mühlhausen at 13:25
  • Departure Erfurt at 13:07 – Arrival Mühlhausen at 14:15
  • Departure Erfurt at 14:04 – Arrival Mühlhausen at 14:57

Here are the three possible routes from Göttingen to Mühlhausen:

  • Departure Göttingen 13:14 – Change in Eichenberg at 13:28 – Arrival Mühlhausen at 14:31
  • Departure Göttingen 14:08 – Arrival Mühlhausen at 14:58

We will offer 2 shuttle times from Mühlhausen to the accommodation, which you will have to sign up for via email:

  • Shuttle 1: 14:45
  • Shuttle 2: 15:30


A Dendrochronological View in the Past Century
By Dr. Gottfried Jetschke & Prof. Dr. Zech

Step into the captivating world of dendrochronology within the lush embrace of Hainich National Park. In this workshop, you’ll embark on a compelling journey to explore how trees respond to recent dry summer years. Through hands-on experience, you’ll venture into the forest to gather sample cores from ancient trees. These cores will then be meticulously sanded and polished, enabling us to measure the tree-ring width with extraordinary precision, down to 0.01 mm. In a fascinating twist, you’ll compare the annual growth increments during dry years to the average growth, allowing us to create characteristic indices. These indices will provide us with insights into how trees adapt to environmental shifts, particularly in response to summer temperature and rainfall. This workshop caters to the curious minds and budding scientists, offering not just theoretical knowledge, but the chance to be an active participant in deepening our understanding of nature’s intricate workings. Join us for an enlightening and adventurous voyage through time, as we decode the secrets hidden within the ancient trees of Hainich National Park.

Exploring Ecohydrology

Session 1 by Sophia Sieber & Marcus Böhm

Session 2 By Prof. Dr. Beate Michalzik & Prof. Dr. Anke Hildebrandt

This workshop, hosted at Hainich National Park, focuses on intensive forest monitoring for water and matter transport. It’s part of the Hainich Critical Zone Observatory, linked to Collaborative Research Centre 1076 “AquaDiva.” The aim is to understand the connection between surface and subsurface water, local geology’s impact on subsurface diversity and ecology. Together you will collect water samples from various forest areas, measuring volume, nitrate content, and pH. Participants will also discuss climate change’s effects on water flow and quality. Additionally, soil respiration rates and pH will be measured in various locations and tree species to understand their influence on carbon release. In summary, this workshop offers insights into field monitoring in ecohydrology and biogeochemistry, hands-on experience, and discussions on climate change’s impact on forest ecosystem processes, particularly water and nutrient cycling.

Environmental Modelling

By David Montero, Dr. Anne Klosterhalfen & Dr. Franziska Köbsch

Join us for an engaging workshop on Earth Observation (EO) data management and analysis. This hands-on session immerses you in the world of remote sensing, where you’ll learn to manipulate EO data cubes, perform spatio-temporal operations, and conduct spectral transformations—all within the user-friendly Python environment on Google Colab. But there’s more to this workshop than digital analysis. You’ll also gain practical knowledge about the Eddy Covariance technique, which measures gas exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere, and even have the unique opportunity to climb the flux tower where these measurements occur (be aware of heights). Our primary focus in this workshop is understanding Gross Primary Production (GPP) using EO data. We’ll show you how to compare your findings with GPP data collected from the Hainich Eddy Covariance tower, bridging the gap between theory and real-world applications. You’ll also explore both linear and non-linear methods for inferring GPP, providing valuable insights into the role of remote sensing in environmental monitoring and research. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, this workshop offers an immersive experience in data analysis and environmental exploration.


Make your CV stand out
By Wiebke Breternitz

In today’s competitive job market, a well-crafted CV can be the key to opening doors to your dream career. Join us for this training to elevate your CV-writing skills, boost your job prospects, and make a lasting impression on potential employers. Your career success begins with a standout CV. During this interactive training, participants will gain essential insights into the art of crafting a compelling CV that sets them apart from the crowd. We will delve into strategies for showcasing your skills, experiences, and accomplishments effectively. You’ll learn how to understand the fundamental elements of a standout CV, including its structure and content, and how to tailor it to specific job opportunities and industries. We’ll explore techniques for highlighting your unique strengths and accomplishments, and you’ll gain tips on crafting a compelling professional summary and using powerful action verbs. Visual design and formatting principles to create an eye-catching document will also be discussed. We’ll provide practical advice on how to incorporate keywords for online job applications and applicant tracking systems.

Win your audience – How to prepare an engaging presentation

By Małgorzata Kamińska

This training focuses on captivating your audience during various presentation scenarios, including thesis defenses, job interviews, and travel slideshows. Participants will engage in brainstorming sessions to discover effective presentation tools and techniques. The program emphasizes reading the room, audience engagement, and practical skill-building exercises. Attendees can expect to enhance their public speaking abilities while gaining insights into versatile delivery methods suitable for both online and in-person presentations. This workshop aims to equip individuals with the skills needed to maintain audience interest and successfully convey their messages in a compelling manner.

to be Announced

By Anonymous

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May the forest be with you!

Meet our orgateam


Main Orga
Say hello to Robert, one-half of our dynamic main organising duo, working hand in hand with Wiebke to make our events shine. Robert’s not just the life of the party as a DJ during congress season; he’s also the heartbeat of our planning process. His meticulous organisational skills, precision, and knack for keeping the show running seamlessly are what set him apart. Robert’s the one you turn to for the inside scoop on outdoor equipment, the guy who knows a tent from a tarp. When we’re gearing up for adventure, he’s our guide. And when he’s not spinning tracks or helping us prepare for our outdoor escapades, you’ll find him on the handball court, displaying the same competitive spirit that fuels our event’s success. With Robert in our corner, every gathering becomes an unforgettable experience.


Main Orga
Do we really have to introduce her? For those in the EGEA community, Wiebke is a familiar and cherished name. Affectionately known as ‘Wibi,’ she’s been an active and influential figure in EGEA for years. As our second part of our dynamic main organiser duo, she is the force behind our outstanding scientific event, and it’s her vision that brought it to life. Beyond her role as an initiator, Wibi is the heart and soul of our team. She keeps us motivated, focused, and on the right path, ensuring the success of our collective efforts. With an open ear and an approachable demeanor, she’s a trusted friend and confidante to everyone involved. In her rare moments away from EGEA, she is an avid adventurer. Her pursuit of new hobbies and love for outdoor activities, whether it’s climbing, kayaking, or exploring nature, exemplifies her enthusiashm for life. Wibi’s dynamic spirit and leadership have not only made this scientific event possible but also continue to inspire us all.


Scientific & Participant Coordinator
Allow us to introduce Sophia, the cheerful and invaluable heart of our team. Sophia’s radiant smile and an infectious sense of humour bring an abundance of positivity to every project we undertake, making her an absolute asset to the group. Sophia wears multiple hats with grace and proficiency. She takes the lead in organising workshops and played a vital role in shaping our scientific program, ensuring it’s nothing short of exceptional. As our participant coordinator, Sophia ensures that every attendee’s experience is seamless and enjoyable. If you ever have questions or need guidance, Sophia is your go-to source of knowledge. Her expertise is as solid as a rock, which comes as no surprise considering her fascination with stones. Beyond her love for geology, she’s a dog enthusiast and proudly shares her life with the adorable Wolfi. With Sophia on our side, our team is not only well-informed but also constantly inspired by her unwavering enthusiasm. She’s the kind of team member who makes every endeavour feel like a delightful adventure.


Kitchen Chef & Green Coordinator
Meet the culinary maestro and our eco-champion, Ben! As our kitchen chef and green coordinator, he’s the genius behind the delectable meals that will tantalise your taste buds throughout the entire weekend. Ben’s not just about creating delicious dishes; he’s also passionate about sustainability and ensuring our event leaves the lightest ecological footprint possible. But there’s more to Ben than his apron and eco-efforts. His distinctive, infectious laugh is known to turn heads and brighten any room, and he’s a force to be reckoned with on the dartboard. With Ben at the helm, we’re in for a weekend filled with mouthwatering meals, laughter, and perhaps a friendly game of darts or two. Get ready to savour the flavours and the fun, thanks to Ben!


Scientific & Fundraising Coordinator

Introducing Konstantin, an integral part of our scientific program team, who has played a pivotal role in shaping the enriching workshops, discussions, and talks that make our conference extraordinary. Not just confined to program curation, Konstantin is our financial wizard, ensuring the financial gears run smoothly. Beyond his professional commitments, Konstantin takes to the intercrosse field in his free time, where he unleashes his passion for the sport. When not scoring goals, he delights in a scoop of ice cream, savoring the sweet moments in life. Konstantin’s serene presence and unflappable demeanor are the bedrock of our team. His ability to maintain composure in the most challenging situations is truly remarkable. He’s the anchor that keeps us steady, and we’re fortunate to have him as an unwavering force in our scientific program, contributing significantly to the success of our conference.


Program Coordinator & Kitchen Team
Let’s introduce you to Amelie, our enthusiastic Newbie who’s been taking the team by storm! While she’s new to the game, her passion for all things culinary shines through as she assists Ben in the kitchen, ensuring you’ll savour every bite of the weekend. She’s the imaginative mastermind behind some of our unforgettable evening program ideas, adding a dash of creativity to your nights. When she’s not exploring flavours, you’ll find her gracefully rowing on serene waters or conquering trails with her newfound passion for running. Amelie’s talents extend beyond the kitchen and event planning – she’s also our resident young grandma. In meetings, you’ll often find her by Wiebke’s side, creating cosy and handcrafted wonders with her crochet skills. So whether you’re in need of delectable dishes, unique event ideas, or a warm, handcrafted touch, Amelie is the multi-talented gem of our team, and we’re thrilled for you to get to know her!


Design & Kitchen Team
Meet Emily, our creative powerhouse and Social Media Queen. As one of our fresh faces, Emily wears many hats, taking charge of our social media presence, crafting captivating templates and brochures, and guiding our design choices with an impeccable eye. But she’s not just limited to the digital realm; you’ll also find her in the kitchen, collaborating with Ben to whip up delicious meals. Beyond her event-related roles, Emily is a connoisseur of German music, with an extensive knowledge that can ignite any musical discussion. She’s a passionate learner, constantly expanding her horizons, and a dedicated bookworm, devouring a new book each week. Emily’s multifaceted talents and unquenchable curiosity make her an essential and captivating presence in our team, ensuring our event is as visually stunning as it is intellectually stimulating.


Program Coordinator & Kitchen Team
With Wolf in our team, we’ve not only got a fundraising wizard who played a pivotal role in making our event a reality. Wolf has been one of the driving forces behind our fundraising efforts, ensuring that this extraordinary weekend is possible for everyone to enjoy. He’s also the creative mind that collaborated with Amelie to craft our memorable evening program. Together, they’ve concocted a fantastic lineup of activities to make your nights as unforgettable as your days. When Wolf isn’t busy helping us organise and raise funds, you’ll find him in the great outdoors, pursuing his two greatest passions – his deep love for dogs and his impressive archery skills. He adores his canine companion and knows a thing or two about training and caring for our four-legged friends. And if we ever find ourselves in a food shortage, Wolf’s archery expertise could come in handy, teaching us to hunt like Robin Hood.

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