The Department of Geoinformatics, Hydrology and Modelling (DGHM) is an innovative academic research institute at the Friedrich-Schiller University (FSU-Jena). Since it was established as part of the Institute of Geography in 1994 it is carrying out research on how distributed geographical objects of a heterogeneous Natural Environment (NE-System) together with its related Human Dimension (HD-System) constitute respective NEHD-Systems can be classified, and how to analyse, model and regionalize their process driven interactive dynamics. Respective research projects carried out by the DGHM comprise (i) process analysis of complex geo-systems; (ii) management and modelling of spatial distributed heterogeneous geo-information; (iii) regional modelling of distributed water and solute transport; (iv) Integrated Water Resources Management Support Systems (IWRMSS) and (v) the regionalization concept of Response Units (RU).
This research programme is implemented in national and international river basins, and by means of integrating such innovative techniques of Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Systems Analysis and Management, Software Engineering and Decision Information Support into Integrated River Basin Management Systems (IRBMS). They are developed to support decision makers, i.e. in the analysis of management options for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) or to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDG).
The multidisciplinary research team at the DGHM thus comprises scientists from disciplines such as computer science, geography, hydrology, data management and software engineering. They cooperate in multidisciplinary research projects and receive complement professional impact from cooperating partners working during research visits at the DGHM. The research team is disseminating its results to the scientific community by publishing in reviewed journals and presenting papers on national and international symposia.
Numerous research projects haven been carried out in the past decade in cooperation with national and international research partners and funding has been received from a variety of donors in Germany, the EU and internationally. The research projects have been integrated into the curriculum at the DGHM and are reflected by seminars, lectures and a variety of MSc-theses and PhD-projects. At present the teaching curriculum comprises a BSc in Geography (3 years) a consequent Masters programme in Geoinformatics (2 years) and complement PhD-projects.
In 2001 the Centre of Excellence ‘Dynamics of complex geo-Systems (DKS)’ has been established as an interface to enterprises being active in the field of Geoinformatics in Germany. The DKS has received a start-up funding from the ‘Stifterverband der Deutschen Wissenschaft” and is currently consolidating its business after a 3-year start-up phase. At present the DKS is in the position to support young scientists with PhD-bursaries to prepare their own research projects and apply for related funding.