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Climate Change and Development: Colloquium

Photo: Lindenhahn/PIK




Recent PhD, BSc. and MSc. Thesis

Teaching at University of Potsdam

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You are warmly invited to join our events and seminars. The venue for the colloquium will be published below.

Upcoming events

25 July 2016

10:00, A31, Cupola


Micheal Eschweiler (DAAD)

Michael Eschweiler will present the DAAD`s activities in Central America.


Past Events

15 Mar 2016

14:00, A31, Cupola


Marian Dörk

(Insitute for Urban Futures, Potsdam University of Applied Science)

Visualizing urban complexity - designing new perspectives on the city


We are a visualization research group at Potsdam University of Applied Sciences focusing our work on the design, development, and evaluation of novel data visualization techniques primarily in the context of cities. At the urban scale we witness how global challenges such as climate change have their primary causes, but also find their most likely solutions. Data visualization promises insightful perspectives on complex, dynamic, and comprehensive datasets. Our mission is to conceive visualization techniques that help to untangle urban complexity and inform collective and personal decision-making. In this talk I give a brief overview of our current research efforts on visualizing urban data related to mobility, historic planning, and literature. We are now starting an initiative on creating visualizations representing current scientific insight on urbanization with particular focus on the climate goals and sustainability. The visualizations are scheduled to be presented at Habitat III later this year. I am happy to speak to PIK researchers who are interested in collaborating with us on this.

Marian Dörk is a research professor for information visualization at the Institute for Urban Futures of the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences. Since Fall 2014 he leads a 3-year research project on visualizing cultural collections and since January 2015 he has been co-directing the Urban Complexity Lab, a newly founded research space at the intersection between information visualization and urban transformation:

21 Jan 2016

14:00, A31, Cupola


Thomas Esch

(DLR Earth Observation Center)

"The Global Urban Footprint -  A Key Step in Characterizing the Global Human Settlements Pattern from Space"

The ongoing global phenomenon of people migrating to cities is referred to as urbanization and primarily manifests itself in the continuous and often rapid spatial expansion of urban agglomerations. Nevertheless, the dimension and structuring behind this process can be considered as a spatial continuum ranging from rural to urban settlements. Accordingly, gathering a detailed global knowledge about the size, form (e.g., compact or spread) and spatial distribution (e.g., dispersed or nucleated) of different types of settlements represents a major issue to better understand urbanization and develop effective mitigation, adaptation and management strategies. The TerraSAR-X add-on for digital elevation measurement (TanDEM-X) is a German Earth observation mission collecting a total of two global coverages of very high resolution (VHR) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) X-band data with a spatial resolution of around three meters in the years 2011 to 2013. With these, the TanDEM-X mission (TDM) provides a unique data set that is highly valuable for the analysis and monitoring of the global human settlements pattern.
This presentation introduces the basic methodology for a fully-operational detection and delineation of built-up areas from VHR SAR data along with a description of the resulting global settlement mask - the Global Urban Footprint (GUF). The GUF shows a high potential with respect to an analysis of urbanization patterns, peri-urbanization, spatio-temporal dynamics of settlement development as well as population estimation, vulnerability assessment and modeling of global change.

5. October 2015



Dr. Yannis Bistinas

Reading University

"Contemporary controls of fire frequency and the footprint of fire in the earth system"


This talk aims to give a better insight into the spatial variability and the controls of fire incidence at global scale using satellite derived datasets with a focus to the anthropogenic land use activities. Exploring partial relationships can contradict several modeling assumptions. When isolating the influence of population density and assuming spatial non-stationarity, the human impact is very detailed and reflects the main land use activities with emphasis on cropland and rangeland management. Finally, results show that the contribution of fires in the Earth system, in terms of radiative forcing, is significant.

22. September 2015



Martin Juckes

Coordinator of the CLIPC project


The NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

"A Climate Information Platform for Copernicus (CLIPC): Mission and current work"


The CLIPC project is developing an integrated platform of climate data services portal to provide a single point of access for authoritative scientific information on climate change and climate change impacts. This ambitious objective supports the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme for Europe, which will deliver a new generation of environmental data for Europe’s citizens, decision-makers in the public and private sector, and academics. CLIPC services will support access to climate information of direct relevance to a wide variety of users, from scientists to policy makers and private sector decision makers. Information will include data from satellite and in-situ observations, climate models and re-analyses, transformed data products to enable impacts assessments and climate change impact indicators. The platform will complement existing GMES/Copernicus pre-operational components, but will focus on datasets which provide information on climate variability on decadal to centennial time scales from observed and projected climate change impacts in Europe, and will provide a toolbox to generate, compare and rank key indicators. Expanding climate data volumes will be supported with a distributed, scalable system, based on international standards. Guidance information on the quality and limitations of all data products will be provided. An on-going user consultation process will feed back into all the products developed within the project.

28. August 2015



Michael Prytula

Fachhochschule Potsdam

Forschungsprofessur Ressourcenoptimiertes und klimaangepasstes Bauen

Der urbane Metabolismus 


See an overview of past colloquia in [2011/2012] [2013/2014]

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