In 2006, the first year of the international master’s program “Global Change Ecology” (GCE) within the Elite Network of Bavaria began its studies. Since then, several cohorts have completed their studies. Preparations are already underway for the newest year 2020, which will bring together students from all over the world in Bayreuth this autumn. Several GCE alumni reported on their time after graduation and gave tips to current students.
Professions in nature and environmental protection
Some GCE alumni are active in research and teaching:
For example, there is Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer, who was one of the very first GCE students. In August 2019 he returned to the University of Bayreuth as a professor of sports ecology and will soon be teaching GCE students himself.
Or Dr. Gesche Blume-Werry who works as a postdoc at the University of Greifswald and researches the rewetting of peatlands. Md Lokman Hossain teaches courses such as “climate change” and “ecology” at the German University of Bangladesh. Patrick von Jeetze is currently doing his doctorate at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on global scale human-nature relationships in agricultural landscapes. In contrast, Dr. Sia Gosheva-Oney’s postgraduate journey brought her to the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. There, amongst others, she advises scientists on EU funding programs. She previously worked for the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH” as a consultant on the water, energy and food security nexus. Asja Bernd works on the island of Vilm near Rügen at the International Nature Conservation Academy of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation where she designs and plans workshops on current national and international nature conservation issues.
Other GCE alumni, in turn, provide advice and information in companies, associations and in administration: Dr.-Ing. Albert Hans Baur works in management consulting to help develop sustainability strategies for companies. Katharina Funk works to implement the climate protection concept for the city of Erlangen. Farina Hoffmann is a project manager at the nature and environmental protection association “Grüne Liga”. Lastly, Nora Marie Zaremba writes for a daily newsletter of the Tagesspiegel, which informs, amongst others, ministries about the latest developments in energy and climate policy.
Tips from the “old” to the “new”
The GCE alumni provide current GCE students with various pieces of advice:
Asja Bernd emphasizes the wealth created by the great diversity of students of the international course, because “learning from each other is just as important as learning from lectures.”
Katharina Funk encourages students to undertake as many additional voluntary opportunities offered by the master´s program as possible, such as participating in environmental conferences and doing internships.
Md Lokman Hossain recalls the importance of “networking” by participating in environmental conferences, workshops and science schools.
Patrick von Jeetze advises giving yourself enough time to find out what you want to know more about and what you want to change in the world.
Farina Hoffmann suggests doing internships at places you might later see yourself professionally and consider already working alongside your studies.
Sia Gosheva-Oney recommends enjoying and actively organizing your studies and says: “What you learn now, during GCE, will help you during your entire career and will influence who you become as a person.”
Finally, Gesche Blume-Werry summarizes her advice to the new GCE students with one sentence: “Follow your passion and curiosity!”
The text was originally written for the Elite Network of Bavaria.
English editing kindly done by Taylor Blair