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Advanced measurements and analyses of greenhouse gas fluxes from soils and ecosystems (AMAGS)
Provider: Faculty of Science

Activity no.: 5429-21-05-31 
Enrollment deadline: 20/08/2021
PlaceDepartment of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Date and time23.08.2021, at: 09:00 - 28.08.2021, at: 16:00
Regular seats30
ECTS credits4.00
Contact personViktorija Wedersøe    E-mail address: vw@ign.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserKlaus Steenberg Larsen    E-mail address: ksl@ign.ku.dk

The chamber method is the most widely used for GHG flux measurements between ecosystems and the atmosphere: However, manual chamber measurements are extremely time consuming, which hampers data collection and implementation of results in a larger context. Recent development in combining novel chamber designs with real-time GHG analyses now allows for automation of GHG flux measurements leading to a hundredfold increase in the number of measurements per unit of time. This technological development improves the temporal representation and resolution in data, in turn helping researchers to improve their understanding of the soil and ecosystem processes governing the exchange of greenhouse gases with the atmosphere at temporal and spatial scales previously out of reach. On the other hand, the much larger data sets produced with automated measurements also creates a need for automating data analytical procedures and quality control.
The course will focus on developing the skill set for post-graduate students in measuring and analyzing the exchange of GHG’s between the soil/ecosystem and the atmosphere using newest chamber technologies. The course will highlight the conceptual, technological and analytic challenges involved in obtaining the “true” measure of the GHG flux between an ecosystem and the atmosphere and how these data can be used to address fundamental knowledge gaps related to the processes involved in ecosystem GHG production and uptake and potential ecosystem feedback to climate and global changes.

Aim and content
It is critical for environmental scientists to quantify the major sources and sinks of the most common greenhouse gases (GHGs), CO2, CH4 and N2O, as well as to disentangle the processes involved in GHG production and consumption in terrestrial ecosystems. Such data and knowledge are essential for the development of national and international strategies for improved/optimized land use and climate mitigation. The course aims to teach future researchers how to use the newest, manual and automated chamber technologies and state-of-the-art analytical tools for measuring and interpreting the GHG exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere.

Learning outcome
• describe commonly used chamber methods and equipment for measuring greenhouse gas fluxes from soils
• demonstrate the field use of the chamber method
• discuss theory of sampling design
• work independently with the chamber methods under field conditions
• evaluate the pros and cons of using specific designs to measure greenhouse gas fluxes
• apply the sampling methodology in the field
• design a problem-oriented scientific field sampling protocol for greenhouse gas fluxes
• project-oriented group work in the field
• choose the correct techniques to obtain a representative flux of greenhouse gases
• analyze field data using graphic and statistical techniques
• synthesize results in a written report

Scientific papers

Teaching and learning methods
The course starts with establishing a knowledge base by reviewing current literature within the research field prior to course start forming a basis for an active involvement in the specific theoretical and methodological problems, how to construct a research question and carry out a field sampling design. This knowledge is expanded during the course by hands-on measurements at three field sites in shrubland, agricultural and forest ecosystems where different automated chamber measurement systems are deployed. At the field sites, the students will get insight into real research projects dealing with GHG exchange forming the basis for classroom discussion and learning. Finally, the students will perform hands-on analytical work in the classroom with the data they obtained as well as example data from the automatic chambers at the field sites.
Throughout the course, the teacher team presents lectures covering the central theoretical and practical aspects of the chamber methodology. The students will actively engage in the course by presenting their current PhD projects as well as through group work in theoretical exercises and fieldwork. The course ends with group presentations on a chosen topic covering both theoretical aspects and actual results obtained during the course. Each group further summarizes their work in a written report submitted no later than two weeks after the course presenting and discussing the collected data and results. The participants pass the course after approval of their written report no later than 2 weeks after submission.

Guest lecturer: Senior Scientist Ralf Kiese, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Teachers: Associate Professor Klaus Steenberg Larsen (UCPH), Associate Professor Jesper Riis Christiansen (UCPH), Post Doc Azeem Tariq (UCPH)

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