Environmental Management
Sustainability, Society and the Environment
Environmental and Resource Economics
Applied Ecology

Ort, Datum, Zeitpunkt, Hörsaal:

OS 40 (Olshausenstraße 40)
Donnerstag, 15.03.2018, 11.50 - 12.30 Uhr, Norbert-Gansel-Hörsaal


Dr. Wilhelm Windhorst
Dr. Rüdiger Voss

Studiengänge und Abschlüsse:

Environmental Management

  • Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang, Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Sustainability, Society and the Environment

  • Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang, Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Environmental and Resource Economics

  • Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang, Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Applied Ecology

  • Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang, Master of Science (M.Sc.)


  • Ein-Fach-Masterstudiengang, Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Einige Inhalte der Veranstaltung:

Kiel School of Sustainability - Teaching for Empowerment

The concept of the Kiel School of Sustainability is to bring "thinkers" and "problem solvers" together. Our aim is to enable students to analyse issues of sustainable development under multidisciplinary perspective and empower them to take action in order to create sustainable solutions.

For postgraduate students the Kiel School of Sustainability offers a range of taught Masters programmes each focusing on different aspects of sustainable development. These programms comprise two years of full time study including three taught semesters and an individual research project of 6 months duration. The School offers more than 70 modules in English language and several of the Masters programmes are taught fully in English.

For both undergraduate and postgraduate students the Kiel School of Sustainability offers the Changemaker Curriculum for Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship. The curriculum teaches students of all Bachelor, Master and PhD programmes how to create own projects for sustainable development.

Teachers are affiliated at Kiel University (multiple faculties), Insitute for Economics of the World - Kiel, Alfred-Wegener-Institut-Sylt, Helmholz-Centre Geomar for Ocean Research - Kiel, Helmholz Centre for Material and Coastal Research - Geesthacht and at multiple international partner universities and research institutions round the world.

B1 - Society, Development and Governance

In the specialization area B1 the societal aspects of sustainable development are discussed in detail. Societies are complex systems that differ in their capacity to learn and to adapt to changing circumstances. In this area students will deal with different concepts from economical, social, political, and developmental theory that will provide them with the ability to identify social mechanisms of collective action as they may lead to sustainable or unsustainable paths of development. Furthermore, the difference between on the one hand late industrialized and on the other hand developing societies are addressed in detail. Students will learn about the geography of sustainable economic dynamics as well as about the specific challenges for sustainable development in the context of our rapidly growing urban agglomerations. Development economics deal with the role that migration and globalization play in development and with the various approaches to poverty alleviation under different circumstances. Political ecology addresses questions of power, emancipation, and conflict in our relation to nature.

B2 - Sustainability Economics

Sustainability economics addresses the questions of how human action depends upon and affects nature. Students learn about the many ways human action and nature are related to each other, how sustainability in the relationship between humans and nature can be achieved and how policies for long-term sustainability could be designed.

B3 - Environmental Management

The modules in this section are tailored to provide information and skills required in various fields of environmental management. The required socio-economic background is elucidated in the modules S111 and 112. Major tools to acquire and to manage environmental data on variant spatio-temporal scales are trained in the modules 116, 117, 119 and 120. The resolution ranges from local and site specific data acquisition during filed work (modules S115 and S118) up to the analysis and interpretation of satellite images. Having attended either the module offered during the first term (S111) or being equipped with the respective knowledge already during preceding studies students have the opportunity verify their theoretical background during the field trips offered in the summer term (S115 and S118) and/or to sophisticate their methodological skills advanced modules on remote sensing (S119) and/or GIS Applications (S120).

B4 - Coastal Systems

The coastal zone is an area directly affected by physical, biological and biogeochemical processes with aquatic and terrestrial mechanisms. This area usually comprises the coastal waters as well as the hinterland adjacent to the coast that influences coastal area. Coastal systems are highly productive areas, offering a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems services. The beauty and richness of coastal zones have made them major settlement areas and tourist destinations as well as important business zones. The modules in this section provide the necessary background to analyse abiotic and biotic aspects as well as the impact caused by variant anthropogenic land and sea use activities (S121, S124, S125, S129). Furthermore, the modules S122, S123, and S128 provide an in depth training in relevant methods to create the needed data basis to develop integrated management options for the coastal zone (S127, S126).

B5 - Systems Theory and Ecosystem Services

The focal objective of this study area is to enable students to analyze, understand and manage human-environmental systems. The general techniques and tools of systems analysis are taught and applied in order to cope with the high complexity of these systems at different scales. Therefore, the modules provide a strong relation between theoretical approaches and practical applications in an interdisciplinary context. As the courses are based on the ecosystem approach, the techniques and outcomes of ecosystem analysis, ecosystem theories, ecological indication, ecosystem protection, ecosystem modelling and ecosystem service assessments are focal objects of the modules. They are based on ecological interrelations and include strong linkages with socio-economic features, actually stressing the approach of ecosystem services. All courses are conceived to increase practical skills and theoretical knowledge on landscape management for sustainable development.

B6 - Ecohydrology and Geoecology

Ecohydrology is a transdisciplinary and applied science. It uses the understanding of relationships between hydrological and biological processes at the catchment scale to achieve water quality improvement, biodiversity enhancement and sustainable development. The modules organised in this section provide the necessary geoecological background to identify and to understand abiotic and biotic interactions (S135, S136). The field trips offered during the summer term offer the necessary space to apply the gained theoretical background during the previous training (S138, S140, S141). The advanced courses S142 and S143 have the purpose to amalgamate different data and information to integrated management options. Students who want to strengthen their methodological skills in modelling, hydraulics and/or ecotoxicology can receive the respective training in the modules S144, S145 and/or S146.

B7 - Human Development in Landscapes

The global theme of human development in their cultural and natural environment is linked to the detection of cross-linkages between different factors: the influence of man on nature and vice versa. At present, the natural change of environmental conditions has to be uncovered at more precise timescales, while the human impact on the environment needs to be understood. Apart from natural conditions (individual: health and genetics; ecological: soil, climate, vegetation; technological: wind and waterpower, or natural resources), social constants (social hierarchies, ideologies) play a decisive role in the formation of landscapes.

Highly dynamic spatio-temporal processes underlie the data collected by multiple disciplines. The understanding of these processes requires expertise in palaeo-climate, palaeo-ecology, palaeo-demography, as well as cultural research. Though the processes involved are of global character and apply to the entire human history, case studies presented in the modules concentrate on the Holocene, which is the key era of interactions between humans and landscapes, and mainly in Europe and adjacent regions.

B8 - Functional Ecology

Functional ecology covers the mechanistic understanding of ecological patterns and processes from the organismic to the ecosystem scale. Hence areas that continue to be emphasized integrate genomics with ecology, examine how key aspects of physiology (i.e. stress) impact on the ecology of animals and plants or vice versa and how evolution shapes interactions among function and ecological traits. The modules S154 and S155 also welcome students who are not familiar with ecological principles so far. Modules offered by the department of biology (S157 – S163) allow students - holding sufficient skills in biology - to deepen their knowledge in different areas of functional ecology.

C - Communication and Empowerment

Students learn how to create their own innovative solutions for challenges of sustainable development and how to use media, communication and education to empower other people to solve such problems. The study area integrates the "yooweedoo changemaker programme" that enables students to plan and implement an own change project as part of their masters programme.

M.Sc. Environmental Management

The Master of Science “Environmental Management” is designed to offer interdisciplinary education, which enables graduates to develop complex, efficient and sustainable management concepts to solve current and future environmental problems.
This program encompasses several fascinating fields of research e.g. Nature Conservation, Soil Protection, Water Protection, Water Framework Directive, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Monitoring or Sustainable Land-use.

Aims of the programme
The Master of Science "Environmental Management" programme offered by the Kiel School of Sustainability at the University of Kiel aims to form professionals in the environmental sector, enabled to work in interdisciplinary and international teams.

Students participating in the programme will:

  • acquire skills, assess and apply complex management concepts in order to solve today's and tomorrow's environmental challenges
  • gain knowledge in environmental sciences and their practical application
  • gain knowledge in natural sciences, including knowledge of methods in system analysis, modelling, geographic information systems (GIS) and data management
  • learn how to conceptualize adaptive management, including economic and social aspects
  • train soft skills by working in international and interdisciplinary teams

Target students are students who are interested in finding solutions for environmental problems and conflicts, especially by taking the socioeconomic circumstances of the working area into consideration. A background in related sciences is required. Working experience is welcome, but not necessarily needed.

Double-degree programmes
In an attempt to foster internationalized studies at the Kiel University this MSc. programme is offered as  double-degree in cooperation with the Irkutsk State University, Russia or with AMU-Poznan These programmes facilitates students to benefit both from joint scientific and cultural input at the University of Kiel, Germany and Irkutsk State University, Russia or AMU Poznan, Poland.

The MSc in "Sustainability, Society and the Environment" (SSE) and the MSc in "Environmental Management" (EM) form the core of the School of Sustainability at Kiel University. While the masters programme in "Environmental Management" focuses on ecology and environmental management, the masters programme in "Sustainability, Society and the Environment" analyzes society's sustainable development issues and aims to empower students to develop strategies for a sustainable future.

M.Sc. Sustainability, Society, and the Environment

Aim of the programme
The course combines two essential elements. It brings “thinkers” and “problem solvers” together. It enables students to analyze global issues and it empowers them to take action in order to create sustainable solutions.

The course helps students to analyze and understand change processes at the global as well as at the local level. It focuses on understanding concepts of sustainable development, combining analytical concepts of the social sciences and the environmental sciences. It looks at issues such as urbanization, migration, social innovation processes, globalization and regional development, inequality and development or the impact of climate change, particularly in coastal regions.

The course empowers students to take action on urgent global issues. Students learn how to create and manage projects that lead to sustainable development. They learn how to use media for sustainability communication and how to educate and empower other people to create sustainable solutions.

The course aims at inspiring students to cooperate in interdisciplinary teams in order to harness the potential of diversity. It strengthens students’ creativity and problems solving skills.

Target group of the programme
This programme is focused on students with a track record of commitment for sustainable development and with leadership capabilities and the passion and commitment to contribute to sustainable development.

Aim of the programme
The objectives of the International Master in Applied Ecology (IMAE) programme are to foster interdisciplinary training at a high academic level, within an extensively international context to form graduates with wide portfolios of conceptual and practical skills. These adaptable and innovative graduates will be capable of devising original and new solutions to meet the challenges of evolving problems in applied ecology and to carry out a variety of environmental projects all over the world.

The aims of the programme are to provide large and comprehensive background of understanding, knowledge and skills in the following fields.

  • Ecological diagnoses about Human-related or natural disturbances;
  • Dynamics and functions in both temperate & tropical ecosystems (continental and aquatic);
  • Consequences of global change on the equilibrium of ecosystems;
  • Biodiversity assessment, conservation and management;
  • Ecosystem services: a price on biodiversity and natural resources;
  • Trade-off between human activities and conservation biology: the political and social complexity;
  • Environmental Policies & Economics in the management of natural resources.


Teaching staff is affiliated at the following universities:

  • University of Poitiers, France - “Ecosystem Management” or “Evolutionary Ecology”
  • University of East Anglia, Norwich UK - “Environmental Sciences & Conservation”
  • University of Coimbra, Portugal - “Environmental Quality Assessment”
  • Kiel University, Germany - “Ecosystems Functional Analysis”
  • Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Allegre, Brasil - “Biodiversity Assessment, Conservation and Management"

Further Partners are Adelaide University, Australia, University of Otago, New Zealand, University San Francisco do Quito, Equador.

Erasmus-Mundus MSc in Ecohydrology

Aim of the programme
The ERASMUS MUNDUS Master Course (EMCC) in Ecohydrology will create highly specialized professionals in the area of Integrated Management of Aquatic Ecosystems and Resources (IMAER) based on the Ecohydrology approach and principles, able to generate applications, models and test of the relationships between ecosystem functions and stressful factors impacting on aquatic ecosystems. Such professionals will have a profound understanding about the ecological and hydrological processes and their crucial and integrated role in ecosystems functioning, as basis for designing and implementing long-lasting sustainable and restoration solutions for aquatic ecosystems.

Programme description
The ERASMUS MUNDUS Master Course (EMCC) in Ecohydrology ( is a unique international master course focusing on a new vision for aquatic ecosystems restoration and longterm sustainability. The Ecohydrology approach was developed and have been refined within the International Hydrologic Program (IHP) of UNESCO. Actually its importance is recognized by the 193 counties composing the UNESCO General Conference, being "Ecohydrology for Sustainability" one of the five major themes of the Phase VII of the IHP-UNESCO.

The Ecohydrology EMMSc is supported by a consortium build on highly experienced Higher Education Institution (HEI) in this field.

  • UNESCO Institute for Water Education (Delft, Netherlands),
  • University of Lodz (Poland),
  • University of Algarve (Portugal),
  • Christian Albrecht University of Kiel (Germany),
  • National University of La Plata (Argentina).

Several institutions, as Research and UNESCO Centers, from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia are associating to this course, contributing with advanced study courses and promoting students exchange. Ecohydrology: a new vision for aquatic ecosystems management Traditional approaches to water management consider the hydrology factors as responsible for triggering ecological responses. Management of aquatic ecosystems was "one-way", focusing the role of hydrology on biota.

Ecohydrology establishes a new paradigm for aquatic ecosystems management since it considers the dual regulation between hydrology and biota. Thus, applying this concept at the river basin scale it is possible to restore the evolutionary established processes of aquatic ecosystems. This will increase or reinstate the carrying capacity of ecosystems, allowing them to be sustainable and adaptable to increasing impacts, as the ones resulting from global changes.

Student mobilities
For the first year students will choose between Uni. Algarve (Portugal) and Uni. Lodz (Poland). All students will attend to courses and field trip in Uni. La Pata (Argentina) or the Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (Croatia). For 3ª semester students will choose between Uni. Kiel (Germany) and IHE-UNESCO (Netherlands). For the 4th semester - elaboration of the MSc thesis - students may choose one of the Universities of the consortium.

M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Economics

The Master of Science “Environmental and Resource Economics” is one of four economics master programmes (alongside with “Economics”, “Quantitative Economics”, and “Quantitative Finance”), all characterized by a mathematical approach. It is part of the programme offered by the School of Sustainability because the focus is on sustainable development from an economic point of view. Students deal with topics like intertemporal resource management, monetary evaluation of environmental damages, sustainability economics, climate and energy policy, ...

Aim of the programme
In a first phase, students improve their competence in applying analytical methods in the core subjects of microeconomics, economic growth, environmental and resource economics, and econometrics. In a second phase, they specialise in courses of environmental economics and other fields of economics. Due to the cooperation with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, it is possible to offer a wide range of specialised courses such that students gain an insight into many areas of economic research. A minor subject either in political science (only offered in German language) or in ecology and geography amplifies the scientific focus. The Master of Science "Environmental and Resource Economics" qualifies graduates to accept responsibility for tasks in companies, NGO's, or in senior service, to perform a freelance profession and to conduct autonomous scientific work.