Student Activities

GCE History: First Year (2006)

Manuel Steinbauer, Professor of Sport Ecology at the University of Bayreuth since 2019, was a student of GCE the very first year it began, 2006. The GCE blog team was able to conduct an interview with the GCE alumni, which included recollections from the beginnings of the master’s degree programme “Global Change Ecology”.

Manuel Steinbauer enthusiastically recalled the small group of the first year, which at that time still consisted of only six students. He revealed that the tiny cohort offered some advantages for students and enabled very intensive interactions with the lecturers. Since the course was new for all participants, it was possible to help shape processes and content.
When asked why he had chosen GCE as a master’s course at the time, he mentioned the relevance and topicality of the subject as well as the possibility to specialize in the field of ecology. During his studies, Manuel Steinbauer particularly liked the insights into politics he received by participating in both international environmental conferences and internal research conferences. The resulting meetings with international scientists aroused his enthusiasm for research. He also learned a lot through summer schools and an internship at WWF Pakistan.

Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer, born in 1983 in Geisenhofen near Munich, began his bachelor’s degree in geoecology at the University of Bayreuth in 2004 and continued his studies from 2006 to 2009 with the master’s degree in “Global Change Ecology” (GCE). This was followed by a doctorate in Bayreuth, a three-year stint as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the taking over as professor of “System Paleobiology” at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In August 2019 he followed the call from the University of Bayreuth and returned as professor of “Sport Ecology”.

Internationalization of GCE

Prof. Steinbauer welcomed the fact that the GCE programme is now international, because in the first year all fellow students were German-speaking. For this reason, some lectures were held in German, whereas today everything is in English. Since the programme was still being constructed at that time, even more improvisation had been required, while today firmer and proven structures have been established.
Prof. Steinbauer laughingly recalled the participation of his GCE cohort in the so-called “Elite Cup”, an annual one-day football tournament where programmes within the elite network of Bavaria compete against one another. At that time, the GCE football team was still mixed with lecturers and students, but they “lost mercilessly” and ended up placing near the bottom standings.

The GCE alumnus Manuel Steinbauer will teach GCE students soon

New courses for GCE

Addressed to current GCE students, Prof. Steinbauer emphasized that GCE course would offer very well-founded and good methods training which, together with the insights into politics, had helped him a lot.
From the upcoming winter semester and onwards, the GCE alumni will be teaching new GCE students as a professor. He has already revealed that his chair will offer lectures on the topic of “Sport Ecology” and “Sustainable Tourism” as well as two methodological courses, one of which will be about the analysis of movement data.
Thus, a member of the first GCE class will now as a professor be teaching students of the 14-year-old GCE master’s programme.

English editing kindly done by Taylor Blair

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