eTaxonomist - certificate course

Biodiversity is the variety of living things

Opening up the diversity of the living environment by means of modern technology and making it accessible. This is what we want to transfer in this new course offered by the Carinthian University for Applied Sciences schreiben. We invite you on an extraordinary learning journey to explore biodiversity. In doing so, we strive for individual student support and interactive didactic formats. We look forward to seeing you.

New, unique course

Accurate knowledge of animal, plant, and wildlife species is essential in various diverse professions and functions. In many cases, species are difficult to identify and therefore only accessible to specialists. Oftentimes, it took these specialists decades to work on a species group. For some years now, technologies have been available that support species identification in numerous ways and thus facilitate access even to very difficult groups. Various sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) play a crucial role. Some determination tools are available in the form of apps or portable tools. The methods are currently "booming", their usage requires a lot of expertise, especially a critical assessment of the results. As a certified eTaxnomist, you will be able to,

  • provide essential taxonomic principles and an overview of the three biological realms (plants, animals, fungi),
  • recognize and name crucial biotope and habitat types, using an identification key,
  • to give an overview of the range of identification technologies, especially their fields of application, reliability and technical maturity,
  • apply selected identification technologies (sampling, evaluation, documentation, interpretation and archiving) and
  • to apply a selected survey method independently and to critically reflect and process the quality of the results.

Information & Contact


Please contact us if you have any questions about your studies:

Melina Hierländer, BA
Course administrator CUAS Academy 

+43 5 90500 4305

Hauptplatz 12
9560 Feldkirchen

Level of qualification
Certified eTaxnomist - expert in AI-assisted species identification.

ECTS Credits

Training costs
€ 4.490,-

€ 22,70 / Semester

Duration of studies
4 modules

Class form

Language of instruction
German, optional English

Aim & Content

The course addresses participants with an interest in natural sciences and technology who wish to record, survey and communicate biodiversity using modern methods. Biodiversity technologies are used wherever biodiversity is surveyed and communicated. Your acquired knowledge as an eTaxonomist can be used in particular in the following professions:

  • rangers, nature educators, mountain and hiking guides, forest educators, etc.
  • teachers in schools, educational institutions and continuing education
  • emergency personnel, especially mountain and nature guards
  • employees of nature conservation organizations and initiatives
  • students of biology, independent biologists and consultants
  • employees of museums and switching facilities
  • employees in public administration, e.g. nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, and hunting
  • employees in technical and planning offices as well as consulting institutions
  • interested "laymen", citizen scientists and nature enthusiasts

Organisation & Dates

Planned start date: Fall 2023

Application deadline: Applications are possible as of now!

The training comprises 30 ECTS and is organized on a part-time basis in the form of block courses. The classroom teaching takes place in six week blocks at different locations in Austria. Part of the teaching takes place in the field (excursions). The dates will be announced before the start of the course. The classroom teaching is supplemented by supporting online elements. These can be worked on by the students at free time management.

The training is divided into four modules. The fourth module is a practical final project. Here, the students implement an AI-supported recording project for one or more species groups. Surveys are conducted at relevant times of the year using one or more technologies. The results are documented accordingly and evaluated in a critical manner. Students implement the survey themselves and are assisted by a supervisor.

The certificate course is completed with a final board examination, in case the individual courses have been successfully completed and the practical final paper has been implemented and prepared.



Access requirements

In order to participate in the certificate course AI-supported species identification, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Completed Bachelor's degree or
  • Matura plus relevant work experience or
  • Completed relevant apprenticeship or vocational training (e.g. ranger, mountain guide) plus relevant work experience.

In specific cases, a special personal interest and an autodidactic occupation with the topic can also be recognized by the scientific course management and thus justify admission. The decision on admission has to be approved by the course management.

For a registration we need:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Meaningful letter of motivation
  • Proof of education (certificates, diplomas)


On this extraordinary learning journey, the students are accompanied and supported by the experts of the UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Management of Conservation Areas and numerous external lecturers. The scientific director is Mag. Dr. Gernot Kunz, long-time staff member at the Institute of Zoology at the Karl-Franzens-University in Graz. Gernot is the author of numerous publications, Austrian coordinator of the international City Nature Challenge and also member of the Austrian Biodiversity Council.

Mag. Dr.rer.nat. Gernot Kunz
Scientific Director

+43 (0) 316 380 - 3974

635 Institute for Zoology
8010 Graz, Universitätsplatz 2/I (Institute for Zoology)

FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Michael Jungmeier
Professional Director

+43 (0)5 90500-4314

Europastraße 4
9524 Villach

Mag.a Alexandra Liegl 
Head of CUAS Academy

+43 5 90500 4311

Melina Hierländer, BA
Course administrator CUAS Academy 

+43 5 90500 4305

Hauptplatz 12
9560 Feldkirchen