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EvIDENz stakeholder workshop


The partners of the EvIDENz project conducted the stakeholder workshop entitled “Earth observation-based information products for drought risk on a national basis”.  The workshop was conducted in East London, South Africa, from 2 to 3 November 2016.    Partners involved in the organization of the workshop included DiMTEC of the University of the Free State (UFS), the Remote Sensing Center (ZFL) of the University of Bonn, UNU-EHS, and UN-SPIDER.

EvIDENz workshop SA 2016

The EvIDENz project targets drought, as it is the major and most common natural disaster in South Africa, affecting hundreds of people and leaving considerable economical loss every year.  The goal of the EviDENz project is to develop innovative methods and appropriate means of communication to allow Earth observation-based information provision to meet the goals established in conventions and frameworks, targets and indicators as well as the stakeholders’ needs at national levels.

The workshop was attended by 20 regional and local key stakeholders from South Africa involved in disaster risk reduction like the National Disaster Management Center, the Disaster Management Training and Education Center for Africa, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and farmers.  By bringing together a small and effective group, the workshop promoted the discussion about the contribution of EvIDENz project to drought monitoring, vulnerability and impact assessment as well as to Sendai framework reporting tasks.

The workshop agenda included presentations, as well as discussions and overviews about the EvIDENz’s work plan and details, drought risk management, international conventions like the Sendai framework and Earth observation.





Gunter Menz

Wir trauern um unseren Doktorvater, Mentor, "Jefe", Kollegen und Freund

Prof. Dr. Gunter Menz

(+18.11.1956 ✝ 9.8.2016)

On 9th August 2016, Prof. Dr. Gunter Menz passed away after an accident. Gunter Menz studied geography and mathematics in Freiburg, Germany. He received his PhD degree from the University of Freiburg in 1987 and qualified as a professor in Bonn in 1993. He worked as a professor at the Universities of Mainz and Bonn. An often-mentioned and formative period of his scientific career was the time he spent as a visiting scientist at the University of California in Santa Barbara, USA. In 1996, Gunter became a professor for remote sensing at the University of Jena, Germany. Two years later, in 1998, he became a professor at the University of Bonn where he led the Remote Sensing Research Group (RSRG) at the Department of Geography. Together with two colleagues he founded the interdisciplinary Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) in 2001. From 2001 to 2010, Gunter was ZFL’s spokesman.
Africa, in particular East Africa, was always a matter of his heart. He often visited colleagues and friends in the region, raised funds for research projects in Africa, invited African scientists and was an open and committed host to many African students.
Gunter was a passionate geographer with heart and soul, driven by curiosity, taking every opportunity to visit unique and remote places and thus broaden his horizon. He was always able to give helpful advice, providing his students with huge freedom to pursue own scientific interests. His calm and friendly nature shaped the lives and careers of so many graduates. We will miss Gunter’s wisdom, his unconventional ideas, his inspiration.
In mourning we are grateful for the time we could share with Gunter and will remember him as a close and respected teacher, mentor and dear and valued friend.








EARSeL-Symposium in Bonn

The 36th EARSeL symposium was jointly organized under the direction of Prof. Gunter Menz and Prof. Klaus Greve by the Geography Department (GIUB) and the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL), both belonging to the University of Bonn. Prof. Michael Hoch, the rector of the University of Bonn, delivered the opening speech of the symposium. In his speech he emphasized the basic aim of this scientific event, which stands for combining international top level research in the field of remote sensing and environmental monitoring, and having fruitful discussions about the symposium´s topic „Frontiers in Earth Observation”.

EARSeL 2016 image 2550

Rector of the University of Bonn
Prof. Dr. Michael Hoch

Eight keynote speakers from NASA, ESA, DLR, German and Swiss research centers, as well as from the universities of Hongkong and Maryland, formed the frame for 25 special sessions with 129 presentations and 33 posters. Especially the "EARSeL Young Scientist Days" were very much appealing to the talented scientists, who had the chance to improve their studies in parallel and application-related workshops and excursions. 



Latest Publications

  • Liu, D., Cao, C., Dubovyk, O., Tian, R., Chen, W., Zhuang, Q., Zhao, Y., Menz, G. (2016): Using fuzzy analytic hierarchy process for spatio-temporal analysis of eco-environmental vulnerability change during 1990–2010 in Sanjiangyuan region, China. Ecological Indicators.
  • Muro, J., Canty, M., Conradsen, K., Hüttich, C., Nielsen, A., Skriver, H., Remy, F., Strauch, A., Thonfeld, F. and G. Menz (2016): ‘Short-Term Change Detection in Wetlands Using Sentinel-1 Time Series’, Remote Sensing, 2016, 8, 10, p. 795
  • Ghazaryan, G.; Dubovyk, O.; Kussul, N. & G. Menz (2016): Towards an improved environmental understanding of land surface dynamics in Ukraine based on multi-source remote sensing time-series datasets from 1982 to 2013. Remote Sensing 2016, 8, 617.
  • Dubovyk, O.; Landmann, T.; Dietz, A. & G. Menz. (2016): Quantifying the impacts of environmental factors on vegetation dynamics over climatic and management gradients of central asia. Remote Sensing 2016, 8, 600.
  • Graw, V., Oldenburg, C. & O. Dubovyk (2016): Bush Encroachment Mapping for Africa: Multi-Scale Analysis with Remote Sensing and GIS (July 2016). ZEF - Center for Development Research University of Bonn, Discussion Paper No. 218. Available at SSRN:
  • Hentze, K., Thonfeld, F. & G. Menz (2016): Evaluating Crop Area Mapping from MODIS Time-Series as an Assessment Tool for Zimbabwe’s “Fast Track Land Reform Programme”. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0156630. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156630
  • Thonfeld, F., Feilhauer, H., Braun, M. & G. Menz (2016): Robust Change Vector Analysis (RCVA) for multi-sensor very high resolution optical satellite data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 50, 131-140, ISSN 0303-2434,
  • Kirimi, F., Kuria, D., Thonfeld, F., Amler, E., Mubea, K., Misana, S. and Menz, G. (2016): Influence of Vegetation Cover on the Oh Soil Moisture Retrieval Model: A Case Study of the Malinda Wetland, Tanzania. Advances in Remote Sensing, 5, 28-42. doi: 10.4236/ars.2016.51003.
  • J. A Schultz, C. Beck, G. Menz, B. Neuwirth, C. Ohlwein, and A. Philipp (2015): Sensitivity of proxies on non-linear interactions in the climate system  Scientific Reports, 5 (18560).
  • Kwon, Ho-Young; Nkonya, E.; Johnson, T.; Graw, V.; Kato, E.; Kihiu, E., 2016. Global Estimates of the Impacts of Grassland Degradation on Livestock Productivity from 2001 to 2011. in: Nkonya, E., Mirzabaev, A., von Braun, J. (Eds.), Economics of Land Degradation and Improvement – A Global Assessment for Sustainable Development. Springer International Publishing, pp. 261-290.

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Welcome to the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL). We are an interdisciplinary center of the University of Bonn dedicated to research and teaching in the fields of remote sensing, geoinformation sciences and spatial modelling. Our objective is to strengthen interdisciplinary collaboration within the University of Bonn and to foster high quality research activities.

Researchers from the following institutions are currently involved:


Spokesman: Klaus Greve



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