Study & Education
At Heidelberg University, topics related to environmental research play a role in various existing study programmes in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. The Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) regularly offers interdisciplinary courses, such as excursions and Bridge Seminars as part of the Marsilius Studies. In addition, HCE scientists are engaged as lecturers for school events and develop new activities in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Seminar: "Nachhaltigkeit lehren lernen"
Interdisziplinäre Exkursion des HCE Geographie - Geschichte: Klingenmünster
The HCE members come from the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, so that aspects of all three pillars of sustainability, namely environment, economy and society are included. In cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Institute for Science, Technology, Society (NTG) of the University of Education Heidelberg (PH, Prof. Dr. Alexander Siegmund), the Young University (Dr. Jörg Kraus) and teachers from the region, the HCE has established a „Collaborative Cluster for Sustainability" to expand the activities in the field of ESD. Thereby a bridge is built from the university lecturers to the students, teachers and pupils and profound knowledge on sustainability issues is brought together with the methods of ESD. In a joint seminar of the University and the PH, students are trained as coaches for schools since the summer of 2014. The students receive valuable practical experience and develop lessons with a strong relation to reality. The seminars are held by Dr. Sanam Vardag, Dipl.-Geogr. Svenja Brockmüller, Sabrina Ebenhoch B.Sc. and Prof. Dr. Alexander Siegmund.
Studierende als Nachhaltigkeitscoaches in der Schule
Press release (Ger)
Dr. Georg Christ (Historian, formerly Heidelberg University, now University of Manchester) and Dr. Nicole Vollweiler have developed the concept for interdisciplinary excursions on the interface between the sciences and the humanities together with colleagues in 2009. Since the founding of the HCE in 2011, the center offers field trips regularly in every semester. Currently, Dr. Nicole Vollweiler, Dr. Maximilian Schuh (HCE Junior Research Group „Environment and Society“) and Dr. Martin Wenz (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege) as a guest act as lecturers to ensure that aspects from physical geography as well as from history and architecture are covered. In the previous semesters, the team also included Dr. Anja Betzin (formerly Centre for Organismal Studies) and Sylvie Schwarzwälder (History Department).
In October 2014, the new Master Programme Geoarchaeology has started. The programme is conducted by the Institute of Geography, the Institute of Earth Sciences and the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory and Near-Eastern Archaeology.
Detailed Information (DE)
Flyer (PDF) (DE)
Press release (DE)
Many scientists being active in the HCE also are or were Marsilius Fellows, which shows the close link between the HCE and the Marsilius Kolleg. Both initiatives are committed to strengthen the exchange between scientific cultures. In order to make this exchange also visible in teaching, HCE members keep participating in the interdisciplinary “Bridge Seminars“ of the Marsilius Studies.
In the winter term 2011/12, the interdisciplinary seminar entitled “»Plan B« for Earth? Climate change, international climate policies and the option of climate engineering” was held by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Harnisch (Institute of Political Science), Prof. Dr. Werner Aeschbach, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Platt (both Institute of Environmental Physics) and Dr. Nicole Vollweiler (Institute of Geography and managing director of the HCE) and was targeted at students of the respective subjects. The successful dialogue beyond disciplinary borders was intensified by a scenario game.
The Bridge Seminar “Climate and Culture” was given in the winter term 2012/13 by Prof. Dr. Werner Aeschbach (Environmental Physics), Prof. Dr. Thomas Meier (Archaeology) and Dr. Nicole Vollweiler (Geography). 20 students from eight different subjects worked in interdisciplinary teams, gave presentations and discussed with the aim to achieve a cross-disciplinary perspective on the relationship between climate and culture in different epochs and regions.
HCE Junior Research Group Leader Dr. Juliane Dame taught in the winter term 2013/14 together with Prof. Dr. Albrecht Jahn (Institute for Public Health) and Dr. Rafael Bauschke (Institute for Political Science) the course "Von globalen Problemen zu (keinen) globalen Lösungen? - Umweltveränderungen, Gesundheit und die Frage der politischen Strategien" and in the same team in summer 2014 the seminar „Globale Herausforderungen – lokale Lösungen. Effektiv und nachhaltig?“.
The HCE Marsilius Fellows Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kahl (Institute for German and European Administrative Law), Prof. Dr. Marcus Koch (Centre for Organismal Studies) and Prof. Dr. Alexander Siegmund (Institute of Geography) offered in the winter term 2014/15 the course with the title „Biodiversität: Begriff, Deutung und Umgang - eine Betrachtung aus biologischer, raumbezogener und rechtlicher Perspektive“.
Prof. Dr. Werner Aeschbach (Institute of Environmental Physics), PD Dr. Sabine Gabrysch (Institute for Public Health), Dr. Thomas Jänisch (Department of Infectiology, Section of Clinical Tropical Medicine), Prof. Dr. Marcus Koch (Centre for Organismal Studies) and Dr. Nicole Vollweiler (Institute of Geography) have chosen the topic „Planetary Health - Ist unser Planet krank?“ for the summer term 2015. Prof. Dr. Albrecht Jahn (Medicine), Prof. Dr. Bernd Grzeszick (Law), Prof. Dr. Jale Tosun (Political Science) conduct the Bridge Seminar „Recht auf Gesundheit – Gesundheit per Gesetz?“ during the summer term 2015. Lisa Hennig supports the Bridge Seminars concerning organisational matters.
HCE scientists participate in the "Young University" and thus ensure the transfer of knowledge to the key target group of pupils. The focus lies on current issues such as climate change, biodiversity and energy. The activities of the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) range from the participation in the „Klimaschutztag“ at the Zoo of Heidelberg, to the GreenDay and the „Kinderakademie“ at Bruchsal. The HCE attaches particular importance to the incorporation of different types of schools when giving lessons not only at Heidelberg but also in the region, for example in the framework of the programme "Buch den Profi" and the "Forschungsbörse der Wissenschaftsjahre". Larger events took place for example at the Erich Kästner Schule Bürstadt and at the Friedrich List Schule Mannheim. Another highlight was a workshop with pupils of the Käthe Kollwitz Gymnasium Neustadt / Weinstr. They visited the HCE special event "ZDF planet e." together with their teachers and got insight into current research at the HCE.