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Geoinformation in Environmental PlanningMaster

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Themenvorschläge für Masterarbeiten / Proposed topics for master theses

Investigation of forest fire damages in Brandenburg with LiDAR, hyperspectral, and thermal UAV imagery
Background With climate-related changes, such as extreme heat waves and drought periods, the amount and intensity of forest fires increased, especially in North-East Germany. One example was the large fire close to Treuenbrietzen in 2018, were several square kilometres of mainly pine forest were affected. For the evaluation of this event, our lab covered the area with an UAV (drone) and acquired very high resolution data on forest structure and height as well as thermal and hyperspectral imagery.

1. Literature review of forest fires and possibilities for detecting different types of disturbance and natural succession with remote sensing. 2. Pre-processing of drone data with available software and processing chains. 3. Detection of affected and non-affected trees by structural and spectral indices. 4. Typology of affected trees (per species) and delineation of areas for natural succession.
Basic remote sensing knowledge / attendance of the course “Remote Sensing (MA UP WP 1.4)
Research area: 
forest area, close to Treuenbrietzen, Brandenburg, Germany
Related to:
i) University of Potsdam (Institute of Environmental Science and Geography)
ii) HNEE (Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development)

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit (TUB) –

Michael Förster (TUB) –

Assessing of drought and wetness damages of mid-European tree species with hyperspectral imagery

Background: Within the vegetation periods 2017 and 2018 two extreme weather events took place, which affect the health status of mid-European tree species. After an unusual wet summer in 2017, the year 2018 yielded records in temperature and low precipitation. Therefore, different tree species show stress pattern (e.g. smaller leaf size, loss of part of the crown). There is just limited knowledge available about the impact of the weather extremes as well as the adaptation strategies of the species. The proposed theses tries to assess the behavior of three species (beech, alder, ash) with bio-physical measurements as well as  spectral measurements from a crane-based platform.
Objectives:  The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the potentials of Remote Sensing to detect stress patterns of mid-European deciduous tree species to extreme weather events and subsequent malnutrition.  The results will be compared to biophysical measurements, .including fluorescence, stomatal conductance, CO2 exchange, water leaf content and more.
Research area: TERENO forest site in Demmin (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania)
Related to:  TERENO crane site in Demmin (co-operation GFZ and TU Berlin)
Detection of the „ash dieback“ phenomena with remote sensing technology  
Background: Chalara dieback of ash is a serious disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea), including its stage, Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus (H. pseudoalbidus). The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees, and usually leads to tree death. Remote Sensing methods might be useful to monitor the pest attacks. The thesis will include spectral measurements from a crane-based platform, which will be combined with drone measurements of a larger surrounding area and bio-physical measurements of gas-exchange, fluorescence, leaf water content and eventually sap flow measurements in the vegetation period of 2019.
Objectives: The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the potentials of Remote Sensing to detect the health status of affected ash trees. The results will be compared to terrestrial in-situ mappings of the region and the biophysical measurement. There is the possibility to include the knowledge in an inverse model to retrieve a transferrable relation between tree health status and the related bio-physical parameters
Research area: TERENO forest site in Demmin (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania)
Related to: TERENO crane site in Demmin (co-operation GFZ and TU Berlin)
Assessing the past state of the tundra-taiga-ecotone in Northern Siberia from space
Background: The Arctic treeline is projected to migrate north under currently strong temperature increases. To understand the current dynamics, we have the opportunity to look back in the past by tracking the forest structure as well as the current species distribution. To track tree stands in the past and compare it with new data will help to understand the driving and limiting factors of the Northern treeline change.
Objectives: Track individual trees and patches of trees through the last decades in Northern Siberia. This study will explore the possibilities of different types of satellite imagery for extraction of single trees and tree stands to detect change. The key data and methods are:
          Explore the archives for declassified historical satellite images (Keyhole series‘ 1960-80s) as well as Landsat imagery (1970s- to now)
          Optional: recent Very High Resolution VHR satellite data
          Exploration of methods to extract single trees and tree stands
Research area: Northern Siberia (especially the Kathanga and Chukota regions)
Related to: co-operation with the Alfred Wegener Institute  
Spatio-temporal metrics of vegetation traits from SENTINEL2 time series (timeStamp)

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit (TUB) – Birgit.kleinschmit@tu-berlin.de Gregor Tintrupp – (Agroscience) - gregor.tintrup@agroscience.rlp.de
Background:The project timeStamp (Automated reference system for supporting decision processes in the field of CAP-Cross Compliance and monitoring of compensation areas based on temporal metrics from Copernicus data) intends to integrate EO-based approaches into existing administrative processes to support decision making processes in the field of CAP-Cross Compliance and monitoring of compensation areas.
Content of this study will be the derivation of spatio-temporal metrics caused by changes in  vegetation traits in time series of Sentinel 2 satellite imagery. Two case studies will be observed - CAP-Cross Compliance and monitoring of compensation areas. The first part of the thesis will be a literature review of existing indices for change detections analysis of vegetated areas. Selected indices will be applied to one of the Cross Compliance application or the compensation areas application. The results will directly be included into the timeStamp-project and improve the eGovernance processes in Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Brandenburg and North-Rhine-Westphalia environmental and agricultural authorities.
Requirements: Basic remote sensing knowledge / attendance of the course “Remote Sensing (MA UP WP 1.4)”
Research area:  Germany
Related to:
i) Thünen Institute (German Federal Research Institute under the auspices of the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture)
ii) Julius Kühn Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants)
RLP AgroScience - Institute for Agroecology, Ministry of the Environment in Rhineland-Palatinate                               
Exploring the relation of soil moisture content to Cosmic Ray Sensing and Satellite Information (CosmicSense)

Prof. Dr. Birgit Kleinschmit – Birgit.kleinschmit@tu-berlin.deDr. Michael Förster - Michael.foerster@tu-berlin.de  

The exchange of water between atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere can be viewed as a result of complex interactions of dynamic feedback mechanisms, where soil moisture content acts as the key state variable. Novel approaches are required to handle land surface complexity and scale dependency of water fluxes. State-of-the-art observations of soil moisture content are ranging from continuous point-scale measurements via field-scale snapshots to remote sensing products on the basin scale and beyond. Cosmic-ray neutron sensing (CRNS) measures the presence of water by sensing changes in neutron density above the ground. In the planned project comprehensive observations by CRNS, remote sensing and complementary methods will be used concertedly with hydrological and land-surface models at the catchment-scale to infer also groundwater recharge and atmospheric fluxes.
This thesis aims at evaluating the relations of the CRNS signal to optical satellite data. Therefore, at two stations in Berlin/Brandenburg the cosmic ray signal was recorded together with field-based soil moisture measurements during the season of 2017. These two information will be complemented by remote sensing data of the satellites Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8, which acquired data in similar time-steps. The relations will be revealed by advanced machine learning algorithms.
Basic remote sensing knowledge / attendance of the course “Remote Sensing (MA UP WP 1.4)”
Research area: Berlin and Gülpe in the Havelland area (Germany)
Related to: CosmicSense

Master thesis in the context of an internship in a non-university research institution or companies

Non-university research institution
RPL Agroscience www.agroscience.de

MCC - Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change
Naturpark Westhavelland www.westhavelland-naturpark.de

Small and medium-sized companies
Luftbild Umweltplanung www.lup-umwelt.de

Plante Labs www.planet.com

Masterarbeiten (laufend) / Master theses (current)

Natalie Arnold
Investigation on the vitality of selected urban trees in parks in Berlin and Brandenburg

Irina Stockmann (Uni Potsdam)
Biomasseschätzung in einem temperierten Mischwald auf der Basis von Höheninformationen und multitemporalen RapidEye Daten.

Balázs Lajos Dienes
Parametrization of the Solar Energy on Building Envelopes (SEBE) model. Introducing intra-annual and inter-generic changes of transmissivity of solar radiation through urban tree canopies to numerical modelling of solar irradiance on building façades

Leonie Wagner
Modelling of invasive species in central Chile.

Stephanie Wüstenhagen
A Comparative Analysis of Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 imagery by Using the Example of the Invasive Species Acacia dealbata in Central Chile.

Masterarbeiten (abgeschlossen) / Master theses (completed)


Kathrin Frank
Explaining occurrence of different wild bee species groups with terrain indices, climate parameters, land-cover structure, and spectral indices.

Isabel Blanke
How does precipitation influence the backscatter signal of grasslands?

Gina Maskell
How useful is Twitter data for the delineation of flood extent maps? A comparison of satellite-derived and Twitter-derived flood assessments


Sophie Renner
Urban blue infrastructure patterns – a review of European cities.

Sara Muznik
Assessing the quality of urban green spaces in European cities. Case study Berlin.

Alexandra Rios
Modelling of Invasive Plant Species in Central Chile -  Spreading patterns of Ulex europaeus and Acacia dealbata.

Liubov Shirotova
Estimating biophysical parameters of larix gmelinii using rapideye satellite imagery. The case study of Khatanga, central Siberia, Russia.

Rayk Albrecht
„Forest Cover Mapping and Multi-Temporal Analysis of Tugai Forests in Central Asia using Sentinel-2 and Landsat data.



Roman Wolf
Linear Spectral Unmixing of Sentinel2 time series for detecting invasion of Pinus radiata in the Maule Region in Chile.

Ann-Kathrin Holtgrave
Estimation of Soil Moisture in Vegetation Covered-Floodplains with Sentinel-1 SAR Data Using Support Vector Regression

Sara Knuth
Does urban structure trigger the spread of canine distemper virus in Berlin red foxes?



Alexandra Singleton
Assessing drivers of vegetation response in the  lower reaches of the Tarim River, China using boosted regression trees.

Niklas Moran
An Automatic Tool for EUNIS Habitat Classification Using Ontologies and SEaTH.

Nicolas Specklin
Assessing desertification processes by remote sensing data in the Safi Region, Marocco.



Cornelius Jopke
Change Detection analysis for meadow monitoring using Rapid Eye satellite data.

Nele Steimetz (in Kooperation mit der Uni Potsdam)
Machine learning regression algorithms for biophysical parameter retrieval for Alder and Beech forests in North-East Germany

Sabine Koch (in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Geodäsie)
Storage and Querying of CityGML Models in BaseX -  Evaluation of the usage of a native XML database system for 3D city models

Christine Schwarzer
Klassifikation von Offenlandvegetation in einem Natura 2000 Gebiet – der Effekt von hoher räumlicher, spektraler und temporaler Auflösung

Ana Gonzales
Analysis of potential distribution and size of photovoltaic systems on rural rooftops  -  A contribution to an optimized local energy storage system with a remote sensing and GIS-based approach in Swabia, Germany

Lisa Heinsch
Agent-based modeling of human decisions on residential land uses in Berlin

Kyle Pipkins
A Comparison of Feature Selection Methods for Multitemporal Tree Species Classification

Christian Schulz
Quantifying land cover and landscape diversity changes at the caatinga (2001-
2012) – Landscape pattern analysis with modis land cover products

Eva Tsimeka
Tree species classification using intra-annual Rapid-Eye time series A case study: in Rhineland Palatinate, Germany

Kathrin Ward (in Kooperation mit HU Berlin)
How do urban structure influence the urban heat island effect? - A review of European cities.


Pierre-Adrien Dugord
Assessing the influence of land use Patterns on urban climate and citydwellers vulnerability toward heat stress

Guilherme Henrique Braga Klaussner
Assessing Urban Environmental Justice in two subprefectures of São Paulo, Brazil – a GIS-based synoptic analysis 



Adina Tillack
Estimation of Seasonal Leaf Area Index  in an Alluvial Forest Using High Resolution Satellite-based Vegetation Indices



Marlen Diederitz (in Kooperation mit HU Berlin)
Szenarienbasierte Analyse der Versorgung mit Naherholungsflächen für die Stadtregion Berlin 2030



Iftikhar Ali
Investigating the Potential of TerraSAR-X time series for the detection of swath events in NATURA 2000 grassland habitats

Theresa Garske
When is a city green? - Eine GIS-basierte Methode zur Ermittlung der städtischen Grünflächen-Versorgung für Erholungszwecke
Masterarbeit Garske Zusammenfassung

Rolf Breitschaft
Potentiale von Geographischen Informationssystemen in der Immobilienwirtschaft

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