Student Activities

GCE Alumni (7): Manager for local climate protection in Erlangen

The master´s programme “Global Change Ecology” (GCE) started in 2006. Since that time, some GCE students have already completed their Master´s degree.
We are interested to know what has been happening in the lives of our former GCE students. A few GCE alumni told us about GCE and how their careers have continued after they had finished the master´s programme.
The seventh one in our series is Katharina Funk, who was born in Germany and started to study GCE in 2016:

Why did you decide to study GCE?
After my undergraduate study program “Integrated Life Sciences”, I decided that the climate crisis is a much more pressing matter to me than studying the structure of molecules. So, I was looking for study programmes that combined the scientific knowledge of global warming with elements of climate policy – and found GCE.

What did you like most about GCE?
I really liked the opportunities to go to international conferences, such like IPBES and COP and the first-hand experience of climate negotiations.

How has your career continued after GCE?
I worked for 8 months as a Research Associate at the department of Ecological Modelling at the University of Bayreuth. After that, I started working in a local administration for climate protection in the city of Erlangen.

What is your current position? What are your tasks?
As a manager for local climate protection my main tasks are to implement the climate protection measures of the climate protection concept. This can be the installation of photovoltaic systems, public relations work, implementing ideas for a sustainable lifestyle and many more.

How has GCE supported your career?
GCE has prepared me well for my current job. Climate protection is a cross-sectional task and one has to know many things to get things done. GCE has provided me with a lot of knowledge in various fields which helps a lot.

What do you recommend to the current GCE students?
Try to take all the opportunities that GCE offers. Go to conferences, do as many internships as you can and use the GCE network. And most importantly: Don’t forget to have fun.

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