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Graduate Achievements



Here you will find an overview of various graduates of the International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM) study programme. Some of these students are already in their professional careers, others are currently studying for a Master's degree, but each story is a story of its own and reveals the opportunities open to International Forest Ecosystem Managers. Read the different impressions and experiences below:

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Johannes Enssle
B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2005

Germany/ Stuttgart                                                                                                                                     
Chairman of the NABU State Association Baden-Württemberg

"After graduating from high school, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted to study something related to forests or forestry. Best of all with an international reference. At that time, this combination was only offered by the HNE Eberswalde with its innovative study programme International Forest Ecosystem Management - in short: IFEM.

Now, a few years later, I have to spend 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer in the office of a big NGO, talking a lot on the phone or travel through Germany. That sounds sobering at first, but it's anything but boring. As a forest officer at NABU, I am responsible for all forest-related issues. It is a matter of clearly representing the positions of nature conservation in politics and in society and of working to ensure that the forest is not neglected in its function as a habitat for many thousands of animal and plant species. That also means that I interfere in politics, talk to members of the parliament and representatives of the forestry industry and critically observe and comment on proposed legislation. For my current work, the IFEM study programme in Eberswalde provided me with a solid basis on which to place the various subject areas of forest, environment and development in a broader context. In addition to the natural science, ecological and forestry subjects, important key qualifications such as teamwork, communication, foreign languages and the use of digital media are taught.


Update of my career:

  • Trainee at the Federal Office of the NABU, Berlin
  • Studies of the Master's programme "Global Change Management" (GCM) at the HNE Eberswalde
  • Forestry Officer at the NABU Federal Association, Berlin
  • Forestry Officer at the NABU Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart
  • Chairman of the NABU State Association Baden-Würtemberg





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Nora Koim
B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2005

Germany, Eberswalde
Academic assistant at the HNE Eberswalde in the research project ELaN

Nora Koim has been studying "International Forest Ecosystem Management" at the HNE Eberswalde for three years. After an internship in Germany and abroad at the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ, formerly GTZ) in Eschborn and Cameroon, she completed her Master's degree in Integrated Natural Resource Management at the Humboldt University in Berlin. As part of her master's degree, she was on her way to Colombia's forests for her final thesis. Read the detailed article (in german) on Spiegel-Online.After completing her master's degree, Nora stayed in Colombia and taught Ecology and German at the Technological University of Pereira. Since the end of 2010 she is back in Germany and works as an academic assistant at the HNE Eberswalde in the field of short rotation plantations / energy wood cultivation. She is not only on the forest campus, but also on the road all over Brandenburg. Since 2013, she has also been working as a lecturer for a module in her former Master's programme at Humboldt University in the summer semester.

Update of the career:









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Kathrin Müller-Rees
B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2014

Germany, Bonn

Desk Officer in the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food

IFEM gave me the open minded view over different cultures in relation to forest ecosystems Kathrin Müller-Rees studied IFEM at the HNEE 2011-2014. She has been attending 2 semesters abroad: within the second semester she applied for the ERASMUS Exchange Programme in the Netherlands at the Wageningen University (WUR). Afterwards she got the opportunity to participate at an internship programme in Albania, lead by the GOPA project office. Hereby she investigated with other HNEE students rural development and the existence of potential old growth beech forests. Inspired by the impressions abroad and focussing on data management she completed her Master's degree in Forest Information Technology at the HNEE and Warsaw University (SGGW). As part of her master's degree, she participated on her second ERASMUS Exchange Programme in Warsaw heading the final thesis in Nature Catastrophes and relation to precipitation in cooperation with Munich Re. Both previous knowledge from IFEM and the newly acquired FIT skills enabled her for her first job at the German Federal Forest Administration and later for a position as Desk Officer for IT-Governance and Demand a the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food. Holding this position Kathrin transfers professional requirements from their colleagues to IT matter, refering to the knowledge built up upon IFEM studies and technical skills during FIT programme.


Update of the career:

  • Studies of the Master's programme " Forest Information Technology (FIT)", HNE Eberswalde (HNEE) and Warsaw University (SGGW), 2017
  • Key User for the forest information system at the German Federal Forest Administration
  • Desk Officer German Federal Forest Administration, responsible for IT-Governance and Demand​​





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Jannis Pfendtner

B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2016


Forest campaigner at ROBIN WOOD e.V.

Germany



When I finished high school I wanted to see other places and gain international experience. I was already interested in nature and its protection and found an opportunity for a one-year volunteering service at an ecological NGO in India. During that time I decided that I wanted to become a professional in the field of environmental protection. I researched the different possibilities for a German bachelor at length – and found one study program perfectly fitting: International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM). The Bachelor program of the University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde (HNEE) combined all my interests: Forests and forestry, nature conservation and a strong focus on international issues and sustainability. Just during the last months of my bachelor thesis I applied for the position as a forest campaigner at ROBIN WOOD – a well-known and very independent German NGO working in the field of forest protection. As a forest campaigner I was able to develop – together with many environmental activists – positions and campaigns both for the protection of natural forests and speaking up for a nature-oriented forestry within and outside of Germany. Most of the time it also meant to bring these issues to the media, be it radio, newspapers or television. Some examples of my work are a campaign to save the virgin forests of Bialowieza in Poland, working with our partner organization in Sweden for the protection of the remaining boreal old-growth forests and another campaign against paper wastage through single-use cups. Since a teenager I was doing political work within different contexts and organizations. Through these times I gained many experiences and got to know practical environmental work. These skills combined with the scientific knowledge on forest ecosystems, which I was able to gain through the IFEM course made it possible for me to work at an environmental forest NGO.


Update of my career:

  • Forest campaigner at ROBIN WOOD e.V. (2016 - 2018)
  • Studies of the Master's programme "International Area Studies“ at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (since 2018)


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Julian Geisel
B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2009

Germany
Forest Manager in Sachsen


"If I could decide once again to start a Bachelor's study course, I would choose IFEM again! In the years after my studies I always find myself in situations where I think enthusiastically or happily: ...and this is myHwork... I studied IFEM with a focus on silviculture but also socioeconomics. During my internship in Panama, I analyzed the effects of ownership titles within a national park. After that I worked as a technical employee in the research department of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Agency (DEC), where I roamed the forests with experts in fungi, insects, fire, marsupials and forestry, helped with forest monitoring and finally supervised my own eucalyptus growth experiments. My bachelor studies had prepared me to the satisfaction of my employers, since at least in principle everything works similarly in Australia. Being able to build on this was an advantage that I owe to the program. After almost 4 years of professional experience, I decided that a master's degree in Wood Science and Engineering/Forest Ecosystems and Society made sense for me and wiould enable me to play an active part in co-deciding the fate of our forests. This is what I ultimately intend to do, whether on my own or in an employment relationship. Today I am self-employed, part of which is to help manage the forest of my own community in Saxony-Anhalt.

Update of my career:

• Technical Officer DEC Science Division, Manjimup Western Australia • Academic Assistant ZIM AgroForst/Stiftung Waldwelten, HNE Eberswalde

• Studies of the Master's programme Wood Science and Engineering/Forest Ecosystems and Society) in Corvallis, Oregon

• Forest manager/Forester in Sachsen



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Julia Kirchlechner
B.Sc. International Forest Ecosystem Management (IFEM)
2010

Germany

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Employee in a forestry consultancy operating throughout Germany - forest inventory, cartography, forestry and geographical information systems.

"I look back at my time in Eberswalde with consistently positive feelings. The IFEM programme was just right for me. I wanted to study the forest ecosystem in all its aspects and as a whole. Neither the purely forestal nor the purely biological point of view, but the interaction of forest, man and nature, also in an international context, have fascinated me and still do. The practical semester gave me a great opportunity to get a taste of international development cooperation. In Paraguay I worked on a project that taught small farmers better forestry and agricultural techniques. In this project I did an analysis on enrichment plantations in the natural forest, which also became my final thesis.

The atmosphere in Eberswalde is simply special. Professors and students are in close contact and there are much easier opportunities for cooperation. For me these were, for example, the development of ''Forest tours for singles'', the participation in the competition "Between lecture hall and project" of the Society for International Cooperation or the presentation of a scientific poster at the forestry conference in Freising.

Today I work in a forestry consulting firm that supports private forest owners throughout Germany. I like the change from office work to field work. An example from my work: With the help of geographic information systems I create forest maps and manage databases. Outside in the forest I use the maps and prepared data for inventory surveys. The recorded data is then processed and evaluated in the office.

At some point I will surely be drawn abroad again. The wanderlust, triggered by the IFEM studies, is increasing again..."