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News from the Elite Graduate Programs

Internship at UDATA GmbH – Environment and Education from 1st March 2018 – 30th May 2018

Mysterious castles, beautiful hiking trails and fabulous wine festivals: Katharina Funk, a student of the “Global Change Ecology” program at University of Bayreuth moved to the beautiful Palatinate region in the very west of Germany for three months.

The office of the small company UDATA - Environment and Education is located in the idyllic town Neustadt an der Weinstraße, which is situated 30 km from Mannheim. The company has around 15 employees - depending on the number of ongoing projects- and quite a lot of focal points. Climate, water or soil research, environmental education, data management or app development are some of the ongoing projects of UDATA.

During her internship Katharina had the chance to gain insights in almost every running project. She often participated in important meetings or went to interesting activities together with the project leader. Katharina also got the chance to do some hands-on work as well. She worked on various projects, where one project was developing a massive open online course (MOOC) about energy and business. She not only filmed the lecture, she also set up the website and conceptualised an additional online course about climate change. The German version of the course is available under www.energie-bwl.de and the English version will be available in the near future under www.energy-business.net. Another project she was involved in aimed to develop an app (called uRnature) to incentivize young people to go out into nature while learning about climate change and forests. Besides writing texts for the app and helping to debug the new mission, she planned and performed two major marketing actions on her own. Furthermore, Katharina also performed certain tasks in QGIS, contributing to project proposals and designing flyers about sustainable consumption and an info panel about the app's new mission. Katharina visited the waste-to-energy-plant in Ludwigshafen and attended a guided tour through the plant. These guided tours are the part of the environmental education offered by UDATA together with the waste-to-energy-plant for kindergarteners and schools.

Katharina had a very good time at UDATA, due to the diverse and instructive tasks as well as the good work environment. The Palatinate region is also guaranteeing a high quality of life: The closeness to France, the beautiful landscapes, the friendly people. Thus, she is certainly going to visit the place again!

Text and picture: Katharina Funk

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