Our Courses

Physical-based Modelling of Land Degradation Processes
This summer school offers two separate course options, introducing the participants either to soil erosion or atmosphere-hydrology modelling. The aim is to provide participants the foundation to start their own research.
Agroforestry in Temperate and Dryland Ecosystems
This course offers an introduction to agroforestry systems as an innovative and flexible approach to land management in temperate and dryland ecosystems. It is aimed at participants with basic knowledge in natural science and land management.
Introduction Workshop to R with application of different statistical methods
R is a free software which is widely used in science and beyond across the globe. This interactive hands-on course leads participants through the development of R-codes for statistical analysis and plotting step-by-step, enabling them to learn and apply them to their own research data.
Eddy Covariance Flux Measurements Winter School
This course focusses on greenhouse gas monitoring in Africa, with particular attention on measurement techniques. Various hands-on sessions are offered on the setting up of Eddy Covariance flux measurement instruments, as well as data handling and processing.
Short Course on Agent-Based Modelling & Simulation
This course will offer an overview on agent-based modelling and how/when it is applied. Participants will learn to design and implement basic models using the MARS framework. Specific course content will be tailored according to participant needs.
Carrying capacity of the arid and semi-arid Limpopo rangelands in winter – Management options
The course focuses on climate change adaptation and mitigation on the mixed farming systems of Limpopo. These arid and semi-arid rangelands are threatened by extreme weather events especially during the winter period. The course is aimed at students, local farmers, and extension officers in the area.
Introduction to Ecological Modelling (in NetLogo)
This summer school uses the open-source agent-based modelling framework NetLogo. It offers an introduction into the basics of conceptual development, technical implementation, final evaluation and analysis of process-based models. The course is suited to participants with no prior experience in simulation modelling.
Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA) in Savanna Ecosystem in Limpopo
This course teaches the assessment of savanna ecosystem functioning at sites under different land-uses in and around a local village. Lectures combined with field work, lab work and data analysis give full exposure to the steps of a research project.
Field methods for plant ecology
This course teaches basic field methods for plant ecology via a series of structured field data collection and analysis exercises. It is embedded in the strategic adaptive management philosophy of and takes place at the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Sentinel-1B image acquired on the 5th of April 2018 over Semera in northeast Ethiopia
Summer School on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Remote Sensing
This course will teach the basics and applications of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing for environmental monitoring. It will feature a mixture of theory lessons and corresponding practical tutorials.
Ger-Nam student-tandem from an OPTIMASS Tandem-Thesis-project
Intercultural Competences and Communication
Socio-ecological modelling for multi-functional landscapes
This course introduces the participants to various modelling approaches to study the multi-functional landscapes of southern Africa. Via lectures and hands-on exercises, participants will get familiarized with different modelling approaches, acquire skills to run models and interpret results to assess multiple ecosystem functions and services.