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News from the Elite Graduate Programs

Internship at Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Kwatcho Kengdo Steve, a student of “Global Change Ecology” graduate program at University of Bayreuth, completed his internship at the division of biogeochemical process at KIT/IMK-IFU, located at the foot of Zugspitze from March 15th to May 14th, 2018.

Research at IMK-IFU focuses on biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere interactions in complex terrain and climate change impacts on the water cycle and the biosphere from local to regional scales. Three main divisions work on complementary research topics including bio-geo-chemical processes, ecosystem-atmosphere interactions, regional climate systems, and the land use change and climate.

As an intern, Steve worked within the SUSALPS (Sustainable Use of Alpine and Pre-alpine Grassland Soils in a Changing Climate) project which aims to improve understanding the effects of current and future climate and management on ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Tasks were highly varied, combining field sampling, laboratory works and literature reviews. Fieldwork mainly entailed fertilizer application in mesocoms and large lysimeters as well as above ground biomass harvesting in experimentally simulated grasslands. Steve assisted the laboratory by processing soil samples during chemical analysis. His literature review was focused on the impacts of climate in the Alpine region, at the level of ecosystems services provision, carbon and water balance. Furthermore, Steve attended several seminars offered by guest speakers on topics related to research areas at IMK-IFU.

Overall, this opportunity was both professionally enlightening and culturally enriching for Steve's personal growth and he would like to highly recommend this institute to anyone interested in land use change and biosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions. Of course, the old town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a beautiful city with a strong set of traditional Bavarian values, a unique landscape for hiking.

Text and picture: Kwatcho Kengdo Steve

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