TU Berlin

Geoinformation in Environmental PlanningFörster, Michael

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Dr. Michael Förster


Senior Scientist

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 314 - 72 79 8


Room: EB 236b
Consultation hour: by arrangement

Personal Data
Date and place of birth: 1975 (Burgstädt, Saxony, Germany)
Employment and academic vita
Visiting Scientist at the Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra, Italy (Bioeconomy Unit)
Visiting Scientist at the University Utrecht, Netherlands (Department of Physical Geography)
Visiting Scientist at the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC), Italy (Institute for Applied Remote Sensing)
since 2009
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
Research Scientist
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
Consultant and GIS-Coordinator
Environmental Consulting and Planning Agency - Froelich & Sporbeck, Potsdam, Germany
Research Associate
Geo-Forschungs-Zentrum (GFZ) Potsdam, Section 1.4 (Remote Sensing)
Exchange Student (ERASMUS)
University of Southampton, UK
Studies of Geoecology
Universität Potsdam, Germany
Diploma, University of Potsdam Grade: 1,1 (on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is highest)
Doctorate, Technische Universität Berlin, summa cum laude

Research Topics

  • Development of methods to analyse the dynamics of ecosystems from time-series (optical and SAR), especially for degradation processes or abrupt damages (e.g. caused by fire or storms)
  • Relation of temporal and spectral signals to plant traits and biophysical variables (xantophyll, nitrogen, chlorophyll and fluorescence)
  • Derivation of operationalizable and comprehensive environmental indicators that are needed for the effective implementation of management measures (e.g. within the framework of the European NATURA 2000 requirements) or for a better understanding of ecosystems
  • Interaction of vegetation structure, which can be measured with LiDAR or SAR, with spectral information for the evaluation of forest properties
  • Combining spatially very high resolution data (drones) with satellite data to understand ecohydrological processes and especially to derive hydrological variables such as soil moisture content or interception



Rocchini, D., Foody, G., Nagendra, H., Ricotta, C., Anand, M., He, K., Amici, V., Kleinschmit, B., Förster, M., Schmidtlein, S., Feilhauer, H., Ghisla, A., Metz, M. and Neteler, M. (2013): Uncertainty in ecosystem mapping by remote sensing. Computers & Geosciences, 50, pp. 128-135. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.05.022

Suchenwirth, L., Förster, M., Lang, F. and Kleinschmit, B. (2013): Estimation and Mapping of Carbon Stocks in Riparian Forests by using a Machine Learning Approach with Multiple Geodata. PFG - Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung - Geoinformation(4), pp. 249-265. doi: 10.1127/1432-8364/2013/0181

Minx, J., Baiocci, G., Wiedemann, T., Barrett, J., Creutzig, F., Feng, K., Förster, M., Pichler, P., Weisz, H. and Hubacek, K. (2013): Carbon Footprints of Cities and other Human Settlements in the UK. Environmental Research Letters, 8(035039). doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035039

Ali, I., Schuster, C., Zebisch, M., Förster, M., Kleinschmit, B. and Notarnicola, C. (2013): First Results of Monitoring Nature Conservation Sites in Alpine Region By Using Very High Resolution (VHR) X-Band SAR Data. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 6(5), pp. 2265-2274. doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2241735


Schuster, C., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Testing the red edge channel for improving land-use classifications based on high-resolution multi-spectral satellite data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33(17), pp. 5583-5599. doi: 10.1080/01431161.2012.666812

Suchenwirth, L., Förster, M., Cierjacks, A., Lang, F. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Knowledge-based Classification of Remote Sensing Data for the Estimation of Below and Above ground Organic Carbon Stocks in Riparian Forests. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 20, pp. 151-163. doi: 10.1007/s11273-012-9252-8

Förster, S., Kaden, K., Förster, M. and Itzerott, S. (2012): Crop type mapping using spectral-temporal profiles and phenological information. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 89, pp. 30-40. doi: 10.1016/j.compag.2012.07.015


Schuster, C., Ali, I., Lohmann, P., Frick, A., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2011): Towards Detecting Swath Events in TerraSAR-X Time Series to Establish NATURA 2000 Grassland Habitat Swath Management as Monitoring Parameter. Remote Sensing, 3(7), pp. 1308-1322.


Förster, M., Spengler, D., Buddenbaum, H., Hill, J. and Kleinschmit, B. (2010): Ein Überblick über die Kombination spektraler und geometrischer Modellierung zur Anwendung in der forstlichen Fernerkundung. Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundung, Geoinformation – PFG, 4, pp. 253-264.

Other Publications


Suchenwirth, L., Gärtner, P., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Combining Object-Based Image Analysis and Data Mining for Carbon Assessment in Floodplains. In: Feitosa, R.Q. and da Costa, G.A.O.P. and de Almeida, C.M. and Fonseca, L.M.G. and Kux, H.J.H. (Eds.): 4th International Conference on GEographic Object-Based Image Analysis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp. 96-101. ISBN: 978-85-17-00059-1

Nieland, S., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Towards a Remote Sensing Biodiversity Monitoring Ontology. AGILE 2012, Avignon.

Förster, M., Schmidt, T., Schuster, C. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Multi-Temporal Detection of Grassland Vegetation with Rapideye Imagery and a Spectral-Temporal Library. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), Munich, pp. 4930-4933. ISBN: 978-1-4673-1159-5

Ghisla, A., Rocchini, D., Neteler, M., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Species distribution modelling and open source GIS: why are they still so loosely connected?. In: Seppelt, R. and Voinov, A. and Lange, S. and Bankamp, B. (Eds.): International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Leipzig, Germany, pp. 1481-1488. ISBN: 978-88-9035-742-8


Suchenwirth, L., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2011): Modellierung räumlicher Verteilungsmuster des organischen Kohlenstoffs im Nationalpark Donauauen. IALE-D Jahrestagung, Berlin, Germany.

Schuster, C., Ali, I., Lohmann, P., Frick, A., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2011): Analysis of TerraSAR-X time series for detecting swath events in NATURA 2000 grassland habitats. TerraSAR-X Science Team Meeting, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen.

Schuster, C., Ali, I., Schmidt, T., Lohmann, P., Frick, A., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2011): Synergistic analysis of multi-temporal RapidEye and TerraSAR-X data for monitoring NATURA 2000 grassland habitats. 4th. Workshop of EARSeL SIG LULC, Prag, Tschechische Republik.

Suchenwirth, L., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2011): Organic Carbon stocks in riparian forests: A data-mining approach for climate-relevant carbo-budgeting. Forest Biodiversity in a Changing Climate Conference, Freiburg, Germany.

Suchenwirth, L., Kleinschmit, B. and Förster, M. (2011): Data mining of VHSR satellite data and additional geodatafor modelling of organic carbon stocks in Central European floodplains. 1st Workshop on Forestry: Operational remote sensing in forest management, 31 st EARSeL Annual Symposium 2011 in Prague.


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