On August 10th, 2016, our journey led us to the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW). There we were welcomed by deputy head Markus Neumann who gave us a brief overview over the history and structure of BFW and introduced us to the workshop leaders.
Afterwards we split into four smaller groups. Each participant had the chance to join two of the four workshops. (Click on the names of the workshop leaders to download the presentations!)
Thomas Geburek (Department of Forest Genetics) gave us a practical demonstration of the bottleneck effect with 100 colorful sweets and a blindfold.
Gernot Hoch (Department of Forest Protection) let the students split into small working groups and discuss solutions for current problems in the field of pest control by the example of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Pine Wilt Nematode.
Ernst Leitgeb and Erwin Herzberger (Department of Forest Ecology and Soils) gave us an introduction into the most common soils in Austria. As they had to adapt to the rainy weather, they showed us instruments for sampling and measuring soil related data.
Ambros Berger, Alexandra Freudenschuß und Thomas Gschwantner (Department of Forest Inventory) talked about Austrian National Forest Inventory and let their group measure the heights and diameters of surrounding trees. Christoph Bauerhansl showed them remote sensing methods in their lab. You can read about their results here and view the raw data here.
After a great barbecue lunch we walked through the Schönbrunn castle park towards the Gloriette where we took another group picture.
The day ended with a tram ride in a historic Viennese tram that took us through the entire city along the Vienna Ring Road and ended at the dormitory.