An essential basic for successful forest ecosystem management is an understanding for the multidimensional problems and challenges. Also, we regard networking with national and international partners as key process in modern science. As a consequence Assoc.Prof. Dr. Rupert SEIDL and Dr. Marcela VAN LOO combined both aspects and founded the so called "Science Afternoon".
The Science Afternoon is a periodical seminar (nearly 1 per month) and designed as platform for scientific discussions and exchange.
External and internal invited speakers of mostly silvicultural or related fields are alternating term wise. More than 50 talks were given since 2006. Also, newly hired Professors of the Department of Forest and Soil Scienes were invited for a talk (most recent: Prof. Dr. Douglas L. GODBOLD & Prof. Arne Dr. NOTHDURFT). Further speakers:
- Prof. Dr. Christian AMMER
- Prof. Dr. Klaus PUETTMANN
- Dr. Monika KONNERT
- Prof. Dr. Scott L. STEPHENS
- Prof. Dr. Stephen W. RUNNING
- Prof. Jerry VANCLAY
- Dr. Franz ESSL
The organisers Assoc.Prof. Dr. Rupert SEIDL and Dr. Marcela VAN LOO record a big audience and lively discussions – two facts which confirm the success of their initiative Science Afternoon. They also acknowledge the side effect of creating a space for exchange for our PhD students.
... can be a major source of misunderstanding and misreading which negatively impact the working atmosphere. Naming simple examples: differing greeting habits or a differing notion of punctuality can be crucial in an Austrian working environment and also in a workshop or meeting abroad. In order to mitigate such problems - and to get to know each other better - a monthly-based intercultural training named Cultural Break was started.
This Training has two major aims:
A: strengthen cultural sensitiveness and
B: provide cultural knowledge
The cultural sensitiveness is approached by theoretical input in the first part. This contains e.g. the explanation of cultural dimensions by various authors and their relevance for international project work. The cultural knowledge is brought by country presentations of colleagues. They do not only show their land and culture but also major and minor challenges of living abroad. Additionally we try to answer questions on Austrian culture and history.
As movies and books are good mediators of culture, we made/make a collection of the respective presented culture.
Until now Jigme Tenzin presented his home country Bhutan, Debojyoti Chakraborty gave a talk about India and another Cultural Break was hosted by our colleagues from Ethiopia Kibruyesfa Sisay Ejigu and Beyene Belay Alem. In the following Meetings we got insights to the US (Adam Moreno), German (Dominik Thom), Austrian (Round of Questions) and Slovakian (Renata Milcevicova) culture.
We learned about various cultural characteristics - including goes and no-goes and about challenges of living in Austria.
Also we saw marvellous pictures!