CLOSE-RANGE SENSING TECHNIQUES IN ALPINE TERRAIN
Keywords: knowledge transfer, PhD training, summer school, natural hazards, vegetation mapping, glaciology, bathymetry, terrestrial laser scanning, close-range photogrammetry, thermography, education
Abstract. Early career researchers such as PhD students are a main driving force of scientific research and are for a large part responsible for research innovation. They work on specialized topics within focused research groups that have a limited number of members, but might also have limited capacity in terms of lab equipment. This poses a serious challenge for educating such students as it is difficult to group a sufficient number of them to enable efficient knowledge transfer. To overcome this problem, the Innsbruck Summer School of Alpine Research 2015 on close-range sensing techniques in Alpine terrain was organized in Obergurgl, Austria, by an international team from several universities and research centres. Of the applicants a group of 40 early career researchers were selected with interest in about ten types of specialized surveying tools, i.e. laser scanners, a remotely piloted aircraft system, a thermal camera, a backpack mobile mapping system and different grade photogrammetric equipment. During the one-week summer school, students were grouped according to their personal preference to work with one such type of equipment under guidance of an expert lecturer. All students were required to capture and process field data on a mountain-related theme like landslides or rock glaciers. The work on the assignments lasted the whole week but was interspersed with lectures on selected topics by invited experts. The final task of the summer school participants was to present and defend their results to their peers, lecturers and other colleagues in a symposium-like setting. Here we present the framework and content of this summer school which brought together scientists from close-range sensing and environmental and geosciences.