I07 International land use systems research WS 2016/2017

Prof. Dr. E. Schlecht, Dr. C. Hülsebusch

To register please send an e-mail to:
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Module contents:

Through the combination of one semester of preparatory impulse lectures and student seminars and the 12-14 day excursion to a (sub)tropical country, this module provides participants with interdisciplinary insights into the bio-physical and socio-economic components of agro-silvo-pastoral systems in the global context. The small- to largesize farm enterprises, processing plants and marketing organisations to be visited during the excursion exemplify the opportunities and challenges of agricultural activities in their specific context, whereby particular attention is paid to aspects of sustainability and environmental safety.

The excursion targets regions where the two universities conduct research programmes, and also includes visits to partner universities and (inter)national research institutions. This will allow the MSc students to gain a first impression of how field research is organized and carried out in (sub)tropical countries. Up-to-date research approaches are presented to the participants and questions targeting the sustainable use of natural resources as well as questions of development cooperation are discussed in an international and interdisciplinary context.

Module objective:

  • To gain multi- and interdisciplinary insight into (international) approaches towards opportunities and challenges of agro-silvo-pastoral production systems, sustainable resource use and agricultural development interventions.
  • To familiarize participants with theoretical and practical questions of field research in an international context.

» Official module description

6th Joint Interdisciplinary Study Tour – Costa Rica 2017: “Biodiversity as economic basis for welfare – the case of Costa Rica”, March 14th–26th 2017

Costa Rica – the Central American country named by Columbus “Rich Coast” - did not prove to be rich in precious metals but is indeed wealthy in terms of natural treasures. Located between Panama in the South and Guatemala in the North, bordering the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Costa Rica hosts a variety of different tropical ecological zones and forest landscapes. Widely known for its rich biodiversity and strong conservation efforts, 26% of its land is currently under protection. Among the Central American States, Costa Rica has the highest standard of living. At the same time the country’s agricultural sector is famous for its cash-crop production - principally pineapple, banana and coffee - with all the ecological and social impacts of an intensive plantation economy.

The 2017 excursion will particularly focus on biodiversity as the economic basis for agriculture, forestry, tourism and all subsequent economic sectors. In cooperation with the Tecnologico de Costa Rica the organizers have developed a two-week study tour to a variety of producers, processors and projects, demonstrating the diversity of land- and resource-use systems in Costa Rica - from large to small scale, from intensive to extensive, from collective to individual. The excursion thus aims at a deeper understanding of transforming biodiversity into economic wealth.

Terms of participation:

  • 20 student places available – 10 each for the Universities of Kassel in Witzenhausen and Göttingen
  • Personal study focus on tropical/development aspects of agriculture, forestry, geography, or related subject
  • Competitive selection by study performance, motivation, and English language proficiency (Spanish is an asset)
  • Participants must take part in a preparatory seminar (2 contact hours/week) during WS 2016/17
  • Funding is partly provided by the participating faculties/universities and DITSL Witzenhausen
  • The organizers and participants will need to secure further third party funding from external donors
  • Participants must contribute approx. € 900 each to the total costs – further funding or sponsorship acquired by participants from sources other than the universities or the DAAD may reduce participants’ own contribution

Interested? - Submit your expression of interest incl. CV (1 page), motivation statement (1 page), transcript of records,
proof or evidence of English language proficiency to:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. deadline: September 30, 2016
Note: This excursion is part of the Module I07 “International land use systems research” (6 ECTS credits)

» Download announcement

Previous excursions led to: