Data collection with the help of observations is the cornerstone for the development of our understanding of the ocean. Predictions on ocean change, the assessment of risks, potential and opportunities to meet the former and use the latter are ultimately based on observations. Therefore, the motto of the semester topic in the summer semester 2016 is “Ocean Observation – from Sensor to Knowledge”. The semester topic will highlight the latest developments in data acquisition in the field, data conversion and processing, and finally the generation and distribution of information and knowledge products based on data.



In March, the semester topic will start a training cruise for international early career scientists on the German research vessel METEOR on a research cruise from South Africa to Brazil.
During the summer semester a series of public lectures and a scientific workshop on “Biodiversity & Fisheries” will take place in Kiel.
Moreover, in collaboration with the public outreach department of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, an interactive exhibit for the “Future Ocean Dialogue” exhibition will be developed and in collaboration with the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design a student project will be launched.

Contact: Anke Schneider, anke.schneider@email.uni-kiel.de

Lecture series

Ocean observation – from sensor to knowledge

May - July 2016

The lecture series “Ocean Observation – From Sensor to Knowledge” will deal with multiple aspects that are part of data acquisition, data conversion and the processing of data into compact information in a series of lectures in a vivid manner.
During public evening lectures international experts will present their exciting research to the audience. Therefore, the lecture series addresses the interested public, students from all faculties, school students and their teachers, as well as scientists. The lectures will be given in German.


Lecture series






Prof. Wolfgang Hiller

Alfred-Wegener-Institut (AWI), Bremerhaven


Wissenschaftszentrum, Fraunhoferstraße 13, 24118 Kiel

„Tsunami Frühwarnsysteme - Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen“

Prof. Boris Worm

Dalhousie University, Canada


Zoologisches Museum, Hegewischstraße 3, 24105 Kiel

„Big brother’s blue eyes: Wie Beobachtungen aus dem Weltall die globale Fischerei verändern“

Dr. Ute Münch

Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ)


Audimax, Universität Kiel, Christian-Albrechts-Platz 2, 24118 Kiel

„Warum wir die Rätsel der Ozeane lösen müssen“

Jens-Georg Fischer

Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH), Hamburg


Schifffahrtsmuseum, Wall 65, 24103 Kiel

„Meereskunde am Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie: Damals – Heute – Morgen“

Dr. Pedro Afonso

University of the Azores (IMAR), Portugal


Hörsaal, GEOMAR, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel

„Living on the ridge: tracking the movements of marine animals in the mid-Atlantic“ (in english)

Prof. Uwe Send

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA


Hörsaal, GEOMAR, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel

„Autonome Ozeanbeobachtung: das Dilemma der Meeresforscher“


program as pdf
poster as pdf

Anke Schneider,


Ocean Observations of Biodiversity and Fisheries – Current definitions and future needs

30th June – 01st July 2016

The term biodiversity to describe the variety and variability of life on earth was only introduced about 30 years ago. Biodiversity is regarded as something that deserves protection but what exactly is meant by the term? Scientifically biodiversity is insufficiently defined and it is unclear how to precisely measure it. There are no globally consistent methods for data acquisition, which makes it difficult to compare measurements. This is particularly true of the vast areas of ocean that remain unexplored. One exception are biodiversity observations related to fisheries, where biodiversity in the sense of diversity of species is closely followed. Economically interesting aspects, such as tracking large fish swarms or predicting stock development of economically attractive species as well as the accompanying competition among fisheries countries, have led to observations in this area developing more quickly and in part independently.



In a two-day workshop a group of 60 experts will reflect on the current state of defining ‘Essential Ocean Variables‘ for monitoring and assessment of marine biodiversity and ecosystem health. They will highlight the main gaps in knowledge and discuss future needs in observing biodiversity, also for helping fisheries. The ultimate goal to which the workshop will contribute, is to define a consistent and internally accepted set of variables to observe, assess, and monitor biodiversity and the marine ecosystem. A joint session on “Biodiversity and Fisheries” together with the participants of the General Assembly of the EU project “AtlantOS” will initiate the workshop on 30th June. In the evening an impulse lecture followed by a poster session will take place and on 1st July specific topics and questions will be discussed.

Registration is required.

program as pdf

hotels in Kiel

Contact: Anke Schneider, anke.schneider@email.uni-kiel.de

Art Project

Semester project with the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design

In cooperation with students of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design a semester project which deals with the artistic implementation of the theme “ocean observation” will start in the summer term 2016. The students will develop interactive, multimedia, and descriptive approaches under the supervision of Prof. Tom Duscher und Prof. Manfred Schulz.


Art Project

Following a kick-off meeting in April to get familiarized with the subject, the students have three months to develop ideas and to present their concepts during a semester topic event. The goal is to implement one or several projects, possibly also within the exhibition “Future Ocean Dialogue“.

Contact: Anke Schneider, anke.schneider@email.uni-kiel.de

Exhibition module

Ocean observation in time and space

Within the framework of the semester topic “Ocean Observation – from Sensor to Knowledge” a new exhibition module for the “Future Ocean Dialogue” exhibition will be developed. The aim is to provide an overview of both the temporal and regional development of ocean observation as well as to present a majority of the observation platforms which are in use today. The process of the “creation” of knowledge through observation data will be explained on the basis of selected examples from research. The new module will be presented during the Kiel Week at the end of June 2016 for the first time.


Exhibition module

What are gliders, floats and drifters? Who can measure how deep? Where can seals help us to observe the ocean? What and how big are eddies?What does the Baltic Sea have in common with the Atlantic “Bermuda Triangle”? Is the ocean short of breath? How can satellites help in observing the ocean? Why do we still need research vessels when satellites can observe the ocean?
The answers to these and more questions will be illustrated on an interactive globe and can be worked out individually by the visitors.

Contact: Anke Schneider, anke.schneider@email.uni-kiel.de


An on-board training on the research vessel METEOR

29th February – 18th March 2016

In the project “MyScience-Cruise”, junior scientists from different countries will gain knowledge from data which they have collected themselves. The scientific themes range from physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine meteorology and plankton ecology to palaeoceanography. The excursion started on the 29th February, 2016 in Cape Town (South Africa) and ended after 18 days on the high seas in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). During the expedition, the students were able to become familiar with different oceanic measuring instruments and to take part in a lecture series on board. Moreover, each of the young scientists from Germany, Brazil, Uruguay, South Africa, Argentina, US and Togo also worked on their own research projects while on board. Among their topics were “The Ocean from Space”, “Agulhas Rings”, “Plastic in the Ocean” or “The Air-Sea Interface”. In Rio de Janeiro the young researchers presented their results during a reception of the German embassy on board the METEOR on March 19th.



The aim of the expedition was to give young student scientists an understanding of methods for ocean observation at an early stage of their careers. For this reason, nine students from the international network of Kiel’s marine sciences who do not normally have the opportunity to take part in an expedition were selected for this special research trip.  During the cruise, the students studied the exchange processes between the Indian, Pacific, Southern and Atlantic Oceans in relation to heat transfer and freshwater transport, circulation changes as well as the distribution of species and pollutants. For this purpose, they used a variety of modern sensors and observation systems.

The students reported on their experiences on board in a blog at http://www.oceanblogs.org/mysciencecruise/

Further information on the cruise and its participants can be found at https://portal.geomar.de/web/mysciencecruise

Contact: Anke Schneider, anke.schneider@email.uni-kiel.de