Masterclasses

Masterclasses are interactive sessions to show, learn and discuss new tools, methods or emerging topics in hands-on intensity. Masterclasses are organised and chaired by 1-2 persons, they last 3 hours and host about 15-30 participants (prior registration). Masterclasses attract senior and junior researchers alike. They are an excellent way to spread and test scientific ideas and to reinforce scientific networking. 

Monday, 16 September, 14:00 – 17:00 

Masterclass 1
Participatory scenario planning to pave the way for resilient landscapes

Convenors:
Claudia Heindorf, University of Göttingen, Germany
Marion Jay, University of Göttingen, Germany

Landscapes are currently undergoing rapid social and ecological transformations. Global crises, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and evolving societal conditions resulting from pandemics and wars, are exacerbating these processes of change, along with all their consequences. Participatory scenario techniques can aid in comprehending complex interdependencies and actively shaping more just and sustainable landscape futures. These techniques serve as decision-making tools for the future management and development of social-ecological systems. They help us better understand the
implications of a wide range of potential futures, considering current trends, developments, and strategies. Participatory scenario planning is a co-production process that enables various stakeholders to share their knowledge, perspectives, and visions of a resilient future landscape.
This masterclass is open to everyone, including scientist, practitioners, non-governmental representatives, and political decision makers, aiming to encourage diverse participation among attendees. We will introduce and practically explore the fundamental steps of participatory scenario planning and discuss experiences with this method. We will also explore how this method can be used as a foundation for co-designing future visions and exploring pathways toward more resilient landscapes and make the link with current developments in that regard, e.g. the Nature Future Frameworks.

Masterclass 2
Transformation strategies for sustainable agricultural landscapes: Taking stock and moving forward

Convenors:
Maren Birkenstock, Institute of Rural Studies, Germany
Pascal Grohmann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Katrin Martens, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany

There is an urgent need to transform agricultural landscapes because of their profound impact on sustainability challenges such as global warming, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. While the prevailing land use approaches are primarily aimed at ensuring sufficient food supplies, overcoming interlinked crises requires sustainable and transformative land use strategies. Various political, societal or scientific actors are actively exploring different ways of transforming agricultural landscapes, for example, by developing monitoring systems to assess trends and drivers of agricultural land change, or by promoting specific practices such as organic farming or agroecology. Given the plethora of ideas, concepts and approaches, an inventory is needed to distil the essential elements of transformation and derive the necessary steps for their implementation.
This masterclass aims to map existing transformation strategies for sustainable agricultural landscapes in order to jointly develop an implementation-oriented research agenda. As a basis for the masterclass, we as convenors will prepare a systematic assessment of the German research landscape and its activities in relation to the transformation of agricultural landscapes over the last 25 years. Using the Open Space Conference method, the masterclass will explore and critically discuss the cornerstones of a future research agenda that promotes the sustainable transformation of agricultural landscapes.

Masterclass 3
Reproducible Research with R and Quarto: Workflows for data, projects and publications

Convenors:
Benjamin Black, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Nivedita Harisena, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Manuel Kurmann, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Maarten van Strien, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Across scientific disciplines there is a growing recognition of the importance of improving the transparency and reproducibility of research. In practical terms, this has led to more stringent stipulations, from both funding bodies and academic publishers, for the dissemination of research data and computational methods. This paradigm shift is beneficial for the scientific community, and society at large, as not only does it engender increased accountability but also allows for more equitable access to the knowledge produced by research. However, making the transition to more reproducible research practices can be daunting, either because of the perceived time requirement or lack of expertise.
The goal of this session is to try and dispel some these barriers, by demonstrating several practical approaches for reproducible research workflows using the popular programming software R. Specifically highlighting how such approaches can not only make research more efficient but also facilitate collaboration within teams. The session will cover basic considerations such as project set-up, good practice in documentation, and the use of data repositories. Before moving on to more advanced topics such as environment management, containerisation, and version control with Github, discussing which strategies are appropriate for different contexts. Finally, we will cover the use of Quarto, an open-source publishing system, for the preparation of reproducible scientific journal articles.

The session is suitable for both Junior and Senior researchers. The format will consist of short presentation inputs interspersed with practical exercises. Participants should have a basic working knowledge of R to participate in the exercises, but the broader topic of reproducible research and data management is applicable to other programming languages.
Given that conventions in reproducible research differ between disciplines, the session will also include a discussion component for participants to share their field-specific experiences, practical tips and ask questions.

Participants will require their own laptop to participate in exercises

Masterclass 4
Representation of the biodiversity – land use nexus in integrated land use models at landscape level: developing an agenda for future research

Convenors:
Martin Schönhart, Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics, Rural and Mountain Research, Austria
Robert Huber, Agricultural Economics and Policy ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Klaus Mittenzwei, Ruralis – Institute for rural and regional research Trondheim/Oslo, Norway

Loss of biodiversity is a major challenge of our time with agricultural land use as one of the key drivers but also respondent of these changes. A transformation of agricultural systems requires to take the mutual impacts into account. Integrated land use models at landscape level can support such holistic transition processes if they reliably function in ex-ante settings, take land use decision making into account and well represent complex land use systems in an interdisciplinary manner.
This interdisciplinary masterclass will reflect on the state of the art of bio-economic farm models (BEFM) to represent biodiversity both as determinant of farm incomes (e.g. via support of provisioning services) and as respondent to land use change. It will highlight the data needs and resulting opportunities from technologies such as remote sensing. A systematic discussion of the multiple ways to link BEFM to biodiversity indicators will contribute to drafting an agenda for urgent methodological developments.

Masterclass 5
Brick by brick - Building rich metadata for data publications using LEGO®

Convenors:
Kristin Meier, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany
Marcus Schmidt, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany

Imagine a world without metadata: Your IKEA® wardrobe comes without the manual or the LEGO® set you buy on Ebay® comes without instruction. Interesting to see what would be the result of totally free constructions. Creativity on one side, confusion on the other. To avoid this confusion when it comes to publishing or reusing research data, we invite you to join this masterclass. We will take you on a tour around creating and publishing FAIR data with a focus on metadata.
Not all metadata is the same. When it comes to different research communities, different standards apply. At our masterclass, there will be an insight into the BonaRes repository for publishing agricultural research data and its advantages. Finally we will apply the knowledge about metadata during a game session with LEGO® for Reproducibility (DOI: 10.36399/gla.pubs.196477). Afterwards we will discuss the findings and conclusions: From a game of LEGO® to metadata for FAIR research data.

  • What are sufficient metadata for publication?
  • Can everyone apply rich metadata to his/her data?

After completion of the masterclass, participants will be well-prepared to publish their own datasets, for example with our BonaRes Repository for landscape ecological data.

The session format will be very interactive and partly in groups. Participants should have a general interest in publishing data and it is helpful but not necessary to have heard of metadata & FAIR data. Some interest in learning things by playing games is crucial. To prepare your participation, these links provide a useful start: