Cooperation Science_Linknockberge

Cooperation Science_Linknockberge: Connecting a biosphere region and the scholarly world

In 2020 the UNESCO Chair joins the Science_Link partnership with the Nockberge Biosphere Reserve (Carinthian part of the Salzburger Lungau & Kärntner Nockberge Biosphere Reserve).

The long-term cooperation between the biosphere reserve (BR), Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt aims at (1) building a bridge between excellent international research and everyday life in the region of Nockberge, (2) stimulating, triggering and scientifically supervising technical, economical, ecological and social innovations in the region, (3) giving access to international developments and trends and the scientific community as well and (4) to raise public awareness for the importance and potentials of the BR.

In the course of the cooperation student works (bachelor, master, dissertations) are addressed to burning issues in the biosphere region. Relevant research questions are developed together with stakeholders from the region and implemented with technical and logistical support from the biosphere reserve management. The results are presented in the region and made accessible in meine biosphäre, the BR´s journal.

Financed by: Nockberge Biosphere Reserve

Further information:


SMART_BR: Transdisciplinary research on virtual participation processes in Austrian UNESCO biosphere reserves

This collaborative project uses a transdisciplinary approach to study the implementation and effects of novel designs for multi-stakeholder participation in the management of UNESCO biosphere reserves (BRs) in Austria. BRs are learning sites for sustainable development and test sides for trans- and interdisciplinary approaches to understand interactions between social and ecological systems. The three eligible BRs differ significantly in their physio-geographical profiles, size, economic and demographic structure, however, share participatory processes as an important pillar of their work. Reinforced by the experience of virtual communication methods during the COVID-19 pandemic BRs are beginning to use digital tools for participatory processes.

This project has two principal aims: i) to study the implementation of multi-channel participation systems with new e-participation components being developed in transdisciplinary collaboration in order to broaden engagement opportunities; ii) to assess the role and effects of electronic support for civic participation (especially of previously underrepresented groups), the effects on BR management and decision-making, and the wider impacts on local democracy and sustainable development.

In a first project phase there is the possibility to prepare the project in a (virtual) discussion process with stakeholders from Großes Walsertal BR, Salzburger Lungau & Kärntner Nockberge BR and Wienerwald BR. The project will be prepared by the UNESCO Chair at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Technology Assessment; Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research), BOKU University and Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt.

Financed by: #Connecting Minds; FWF Austrian Research Grant

Goldene Unke

Goldene Unke: Award for nature conservation beyond “business as usual”

The Global business and biodiversity initiative, as launched by the Convention of Biological Diversity shall contribute to halt the dramatic loss of biodiversity. For this the involvement and the contributions of the corporate sector are considered to be of crucial importance ( The award Goldene Unke shall promote good solutions and increase awareness für this initiative on the local level.

The new award scheme aims at identifying and highlighting innovations in nature conservation on construction sites, infrastructures and in the communal area. An interdisciplinary jury shall award outstanding nature conservation projects and thus motivate companies to implement projects that are closer to nature and increase biodiversity. Students of the certificate course Nature Conservation Engineers will have the possbility to learn for these projects as well.

The certificate course for Nature Conservation Engineers has been offered at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences since 2017. The education comprises an introductory part (e.g. nature conservation biology, nature conservation law, nature conservation professions), equipment knowledge and technology (e.g. telemetry, drones, geo-information) as well as a practical main part. There, central competences are shared and trained in the field. For the final thesis, a small practical nature conservation project will be prepared, implemented and documented.

Financed by: Land Kärnten

Further information:

Fun toys or professional devices?

Fun toys or professional devices? Testrun for species identification apps

A clear identification of species is a basic requirement for conservation work and the implementation of conservation measures. The determination is so far only reserved for experts. But what can the various identification apps for plants, fungi and animals do today? This question is the subject of a small project, which is implemented by research interns in summer 2020 within the framework of FFG funding.

Three high-school students and graduates with an interest in science are testing apps such as Pl@ntNet, iPflanzen, Flora Incognita, LeafSnap, BirdNet, Picture fish and Picture Insect. The aim is to determine the potentials of these technologies, their informative value and the need for further development.

Among other things, the results are to contribute to the development of a new course of study "Future Technologies for biodiversity". The survey will allow a better understanding and consideration of the requirements and expectations of future students

Financed by: FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency