This part of the website briefly describes my main study subjects and provides a summary of my Diploma, PhD and Habilitation thesis. For more details see Education


Study location: University of Hannover
Main study topics: Geography and Landscape Ecology
Subsidiary study topics: Soil Science, Landscape Planning, Landscape Care, Geology


Title: "Landscape ecological vision for a multifunctional landscape. The example Pongau in the province of Salzburg"

Summary: Multifunctional landscapes (cf. T. Mosimann et al. 2001) resemble dynamic structures that will be subject to manifold changes in the next few years and decades. Considering the sustainable utilisation of abiotic resources, these changes must not take their course without steering, but have to meet the requirements for fulfilling diverse functions of utilisation, protection and regulation. The author introduces a hierarchic model, which is characterised by a systematic and transparent deduction and which, by application of semi-operational ways, aims to convert these efficiency potentials combined with social values into a Geographical Information System (GIS). In this respect, landscape guidelines intend to realise the envisioned state of spatial utilisation and pattern of landscape. Based on the spatially explicit pattern of utilisation, they provide information about the course of development which a functionally diverse landscape should take on the grounds of ecology-related scientific criteria. Furthermore, by obeying the requirements for a sustainable land-use, they outline the sustainable preservation of natural resources. They aim to designate zones for intensive and extensive landuse, which are selected according to location criteria and are combined with compensation zones for exploitation, protection and regulation. In the landscape, the pattern of zones exploited in diverse degrees of intensity and of protected ones allows for fulfilling a large number of functions, which may be combined with closing material cycles.

Keywords: sustainable land use, GIS, landscape ecology, ecological vision 



Title: The Leitbild concept: A holistic transdisciplinary approach for landscape planning

Summary: Understanding the complexity of landscapes is an essential requirement to exhibit strategies for landscape development in the mid-term future to predict long-term effects of landscape alteration and maintain future demands to landscape resources. In order to steer today's landscapes to an aspired future state (German: Leitbild), it becomes clear that landscape planning should include considerations of socio-cultural, economic and political components in addition to the reflection on ecological aspects of the ecosystem. In response to this challenge, this thesis presents a new methodology developed for describing, classifying and planning landscape visions based on a transdisciplinary, holistic Leitbild concept.
This study clarifies and describes the history, paradigm, logic, requirements, and terminology of the Leitbild concept and suggests a feasible transdisciplinary assessment procedure taking into account stakeholders demands and requirements. These requirements focus on the exploration of spatially relevant landscape resources. Therefore, possible land use options from certain interest groups have been elaborated in scenarios using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques. Comparing and negotiating the scenarios lead to the construction of a commonly desired future state (the Leitbild) which most of the stakeholders can agree with.
The methodology introduced here represents a scientific GIS based landscape planning tool and proves to be able to integrate the semi-operational analysis and evaluation of current and manageable future environmental conditions with states, processes and functions, potentials and risks. The iterative procedure of the model allows developing spatially explicit and implicit value measures for various requirements and demands from stakeholders and participants adapted to ecological site specific conditions. The central element of this methodology is a hierarchically structured collection of processes and functions from ecology, economy and socio-cultural values supplemented with a matrix defining possible functional superimpositions and a matrix demanding necessary buffer stripe areas in a multifunctional landscape.
The result of this work is a general assessment system adapted to the regional natural, cultural, political and economic conditions of the given case study area. As a further result, the goal oriented planning procedure is shown to be a useful tool to enhance communication, scenario development, planning and monitoring of land use developments. Therefore, this methodology can bridge the gap between ecological analysis, socio-economic demands and development of planning oriented scenarios in a transparent framework.

Keywords: landscape vision, Leitbild, multifunctional landscape, landscape planning, GIS, participation, landscape metrics



Title: Automated Geosynthesis: A transdisciplinary framework for real-time integrated holistic landscape analysis and decision support

Summary: This Habilitation thesis explores how existing spatio-temporal information can be generalised, expressed and formalised in computer models as an extended contribution to the Leitbild concept developed prior to this Habilitation thesis. An Open Geospatial Consortium web services orchestration framework combines existing geospatial methods and techniques to deliver additional value with the 'Automated Geosynthesis' approach detailed in this publication. Going beyond the technical developments the author demonstrates that environmental information can be immediately made available and post-processed towards indicator development for decision making as proposed in the Leitbild concept. Based on a wireless sensor network, planned and realised by the author of this thesis, the methods developed are applied to the western part of the Mondsee catchment in Austria and also tested in a groundwater aquifer characterisation programme in New Zealand. The results show, that international standards provide the basis for cross-domain implementations allowing complex multi-purpose tailored information delivery to those who need them. According to stakeholders, performance, efficiency and effectiveness in discovering, accessing, (pre-)processing and visualisation has been increased and brought intended added value for the (near real-time) decision making process.

Keywords: Modelling, GIS, standards, OGC, automation