Dynamic learning about disasters



In the frame of the course „Rapid Response Techniques in Remote Sensing for Natural Disasters”, more than 20 students learnt skills to map and quantify changes on the landscape due to natural or human-made disasters. The course took place on the Winter Semester 2018/19 at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Geoinformatics. The instructors Prof. Andreas Schmitt and Yrneh Ulloa-Torrealba taught the students how to work with optical and radar satellite data using diverse software. However, learning can be fun, as well it does not always have to take place within the four walls of a classroom.

On the 22nd of November, the students had a guided visit at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen. At the facilities of the German Space Operations Center (GSOC), the students could see the Columbus Control Centre where the activities of the astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) are being monitored on real time.


Moreover, some DLR researchers gave presentations on topics like: glaciers, airborne assessment and disaster mapping. The latter took place at the Center for Satellite-based Crisis Information (Zentrum für satellitengestützte Kriseninformation - ZKI).


Finally, the course ended with a Vulnerability game. The board game consists on how the resilience, adaptive capacity and the vulnerability of a system (e.g. the city of Munich) is affected by a broad spectrum of disasters like: landslides, earthquakes, war, epidemics, among others. The students had fun while discussing real life problems and what would be necessary for reducing the vulnerability to these events.

By: Yrneh Ulloa