Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

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The RCC Goes Bavarian


Alpine huts long

With its wealth of alpine environments and cultural traditions, Bavaria calls to diverse audiences that are as rich as its own natural heritage. Through a host of new projects rooted in sharing and comparing Munich, Bavaria, and the Alpine region, the RCC is celebrating the home of its German headquarters as well as strengthening its bonds with a consortium of partners from all over the world.

Natural Catastrophes in the Alps
The natural and cultural landscapes of Germany’s most southern state don’t stop at its borders, and it is not just locals who are interested in Bavaria’s environments. Together with partners from Italy, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Austria, the Rachel Carson Center has been awarded an EU-funded project as part of the Interreg Alpine Space funding scheme. The project aims to research and develop resources to help Alpine communities in assessing risks of natural disaster, protecting their cultural heritage, and reinforcing cultural identities. To find out more on the project, see here and here.

Bavarian Forest Ecologies
In 2016, students and scholars from the RCC joined for a discussion with Marco Heurich, deputy head of conservation and research at the National Park Bayerischer Wald. As part of the ongoing cooperation between the RCC and the national park, a workshop and field seminar are being planned for 2020 in connection with the park’s 50th anniversary. Doctoral students from the RCC will have the opportunity to complete internships at the park, and starting in February 2019, Kazach scholar Zhanna Baimukhamedova will begin her doctoral project on “Bavarian Forest: Socio-ecological Crises, Community Resilience, and Sustainability from a Historical Perspective.”

Munich’s Environments
RECOMS, Resourceful and Resilient Communities, is a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission. The program is comprised of a transdisciplinary consortium of scientists, practitioners, and change agents based in six European Union countries. RCC doctoral candidate Talitta Reitz is an ITN early-stage researcher who will be taking a closer look at Munich’s environments in a comparative study of ecological policies and transformations in Munich and Portland, Oregon (USA). The first training event took place in September 2018 in Vaasa, Finland.

A new strategic partnership between Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich) and New York University (NYU) is uniting scholars and practitioners from even further afield. The project focuses on understanding urban environmental issues and challenges via a comparative, transnational, and global framework. As part of the program, an international conference in Munich will take place in the second half of 2019. Additionally, doctoral students will be offered the chance to complete internships with the Munich based company Green City Experience GmbH, which specializes in supporting communities, organizations, and businesses to develop climate friendly strategies and solutions in areas relating to energy, mobility, and spatial planning.