The topic of modeling in applied environmental research is addressed using a selected example from geoscience research. A strong focus will be placed on the modeling of land use changes.
Theoretical knowledge of systems modelling, model selection and model application is first taught. Based on this basic knowledge, the students develop an appropriate model for a selected study area under supervision. The focus is on the preparation and implementation of input data, calibration, validation, and evaluation of the model quality as well as the final application of the model to answer typical geo-scientific research questions. These include, in particular, scenario calculations to estimate possible future changes in the modeled target variables.
The course uses a mixture of lectures, practical exercises and discussion rounds as well as participatory exercises (role playing).