GIS-Based Analysis of Ecosystem Services

Credits: 2 ECTS
Teaching language: English
Level: PhD
Max. number of attendees: 20
Time: 4-8 September 2017
Place: University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu campus
Contact: Dr. Timo Tokola or Pauliina Karvinen

Target audience

This course is targeted to PhD students with research interest GIS-based analyses and ecosystem services. MSc students, who are interested in the topic and have suitable background can apply to the course, however priority os given to PhD students.

Main Teachers

Prof. Dr. Sven Lautenbach, University of Bonn, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation,
Dr. Markus Melin, Bournemouth University, UK; Department of Life & Environmental Sciences
Dr. Jeannette Eggers, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Prof. Dr. Timo Tokola, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences

Course description and content

GIS-based Analysis of Ecosystem Services focuses on GIS-based quantitative analysis of ecosystem services. In addition to lectures and computer excercises, the course will consist of preliminary reading and Moodle exercises, study tour and final practical work. Estimated workload: 20 hours independent work, 16 hours lectures, 14 hours computer exercises, 10 hours study tour, 1 hour seminar.

The following themes will be covered during the course:

  1. biophysical realism of ecosystem data and models;
  2. consideration of local trade-offs;
  3. recognition of off-site effects;
  4. comprehensive but critical involvement of stakeholders within assessment studies
  5. ALS-based analysis of ecosystem services - wildlife habitats and landuse and
  6. spatial analyses of habitats and recreational values - Heureka approach in forest management planning

Pre-course exercise

Each course participant must do a pre-course literature exercise and install QGIS and R to their laptops.

1. Install QGIS and R onto your laptop. Ensure that the softwares are functioning and take the laptop with you to the course.

2. Below is a list of 10 articles that are related to the course topic. Review the papers and write one paragraph per paper describing the objectives and main methods of each paper = 10 paragraphs altogether. Submit the 10 paragraphs to Submission deadline for the literature exercise is 4 September 2017

Pre-course literature:

Markus Melin
1) Advances in animal ecology from 3D-LiDAR ecosystem mapping Andrew B. Davies and Gregory P. Asner
2) Forest structure as a determinant of grouse brood occurrence – An analysis linking LiDAR data with presence/absence field data M. Melin a,⇑, L. Mehtätalo b, J. Miettinen c, S. Tossavainen d, P. Packalen
3) LiDAR: shedding new light on habitat characterization and modeling, Vierling & Vierling

Sven Lautenbach
1) A quantitative review of ecosystem service studies: approaches, shortcomings and the road ahead, Ralf Seppelt*, Carsten F. Dormann, Florian V. Eppink, Sven Lautenbach and Stefan Schmidt
2) Analysis of historic changes in regional ecosystem service provisioning using land use data, Sven Lautenbach∗, Carolin Kugel, Angela Lausch, Ralf Seppelt
3a) Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) development e Challenges and best practices
3b) Form follows function? Proposing a blueprint for ecosystem service assessments based on reviews and case studies, Ralf Seppelt et al.
4) Optimization-based trade-off analysis of biodiesel crop production for managing an agricultural catchment. Sven Lautenbach et al.
5) Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services: Demand and supply of pollination in the European Union, C.J.E. Schulpa,∗, S. Lautenbachb, P.H. Verburga

Karin Öhman/Thomas Lämås/Jeannette Eggers
1) Korosuo, Anu, Per Sandström, Karin Öhman, and Ljusk Ola Eriksson. 2014. “Impacts of Different Forest Management Scenarios on Forestry and Reindeer Husbandry.” Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 29 (sup1): 234–51. doi:10.1080/02827581.2013.865782.
2) Tiwari, T., J. Lundström, L. Kuglerová, H. Laudon, K. Öhman, and A. M. Ågren. 2016. “Cost of Riparian Buffer Zones: A Comparison of Hydrologically Adapted Site-Specific Riparian Buffers with Traditional Fixed Widths.” Water Resources Research 52 (2): 1056–69. doi:10.1002/2015WR018014.

Course material

Course material can be found on Moodle


Course schedule:

Day 1: Monday 4 September
8-16 Auditorium BOR100, Borealis building

  • Timo Tokola, introduction to the course, 1h
  • Markus Melin, lectures 2h and exercises 3h
  • independent work, guided exercises 1h

17-21 Get-together dinner and sauna at Vainoniemi Villa (Vainoniementie 3, Joensuu)

Day 2: Tuesday 5 September
8-16 Computer class room BOR102, Borealis building

  • Sven Lautenbach,  lectures 2h
  • Sven Lautenbach, exercises 3h
  • independent work, guided exercises, 2h

Day 3: Wednesday 6 September
8-16 Computer class room BOR 102, Borealis building

  • Sven Lautenbach, lectures 2h
  • Sven Lautenbach, exercises 3h
  • Jeannette Eggers, lectures 1h
  • independent work, guided exercises 1h

Day 4: Thursday 7 September
8-10:30 Computer class room BOR102, Borealis building

  • Jeannette Eggers, exercises 2,5h

10:30-11:15 Lunch
11:15 Departure for Erä Eero, bus leaves at the Borealis parking place
13:00 Arriving at Erä Eero, coffee and pancakes
15:00 Wildlife watching
18:00 Dinner
20:00 Sauna

Day 5: Friday 8 September
8:00 Breakfast at Erä Eero
10:00 Departure for Joensuu
11:30 Arriving in Borealis, Lunch
12:30 Auditorium BOR100, Borealis building

  • wrap up and feedback

16:00 Course ends

Registration and admission

The course registration starts on 6 February and ends on 15 June 2017. We can accept 20 students to the course. If we receive more than 20 registrations, the priority will be given to NOVA PhD students. PhD students from non-NOVA universities will be accepted if places are available. Also MSc students with adequate background knowledge can be accepted.

Registration is done by filling in the on-line application form. Compulsory attachment to the registration is a recent transcrpt of records.

On-line registration form open until 29 September 9:00 a.m.

Arriving and accommodation

Students are liable for arranging their travels and accommodation. Below is a list of budget accommodation close to the course venue:

Finnhostel ISLO

Green Start Hotel

Holiday Linnunlahti Apartments

Scouts' Youth Hostel

Joensuu can be reached by airplane, train or bus:


Finnish Rail

Matkahuolto buses

Onnibus buses

Getting around in Joensuu

Airport bus

Joensuu taxi-cab service  (Itä-Suomen taksi), tel. 0601 10010

Map of Joensuu

UEF Campus map Joensuu