Videos accompanying the dossier “Sustainability at Münster University”

Sustainability at a university covers a variety of dimensions: Not only research, but also everyday operations, teaching or transfer can all contribute to sustainability. This series of videos gives insights into each of these areas, presenting examples and projects at Münster University which deal with the subject.

The Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a popular attraction in Münster, and at the same time it contributes to sustainability at the University of Münster – not only by offering guided tours which deal with issues such as climate change, but also because of the diversity of its plant life and its location in the centre of the city. In this video, research associate Dr. Mirja Hentschel and curator Dr. Dennise Bauer provide insights into the sustainability-related activities taking place in this green space.

Students investigate fine particle emissions during the corona pandemic

What impact is the corona pandemic having on the climate? This is a question which landscape ecology students looked at in a project run by the Climatology working group. During the restrictions on contacts last year, they used a cargo bike fitted with various measuring devices to record the particle emissions in Münster. In this video Maike Kuhls and Janik Hohl explain what exactly the study involved, what information the group is hoping for, and why even the set-up of the experiment was itself sustainable.

The “MikroPlaTaS” research project

Plastic in the environment and in the oceans is a well-known problem – and now a lot of inland waters are also affected. Dams and reservoirs have hardly been looked at, though. And this is precisely where the “MikroPlaTaS” project kicks in: researchers from the University of Münster are examining microplastic in wastewater treatment farms in Münster. The team – consisting of landscape ecologists, headed by Dr. Friederike Gabel, and microbiologists, led by Prof. Bodo Philipp – aims to find out which microorganisms populate the minute pieces of plastic, and what the effects on invertebrate animals such as snails and crabs are when these creatures eat the plastic particles. The project – set to last for three years – is part of a joint project being financed by the German Ministry of Education and Science and entitled “Microplastics in Dams and Reservoirs: Sedimentation, Distribution, Effects (MikroPlaTaS)”. The project is being coordinated by researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. Besides the Institute of Landscape Ecology and the Institute of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology at Münster University, the Universities of Potsdam and Bielefeld are also involved in the project.

Research project "MikroPlaTaS"

The blog “Thinking Sustainably” by the ZIN

How do we want to live? What makes for a good life? What has a sustainable future as far as environment, society and democracy are concerned? These questions are something that the blog being written by the ZIN (Centre for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research) at Münster University is looking at. The blog not only provides insights into current research, but also considers social issues and discussions. In doing so, the authors try to present complex issues in such a way that the general public can understand them. Prof. Doris Fuchs, the ZIN’s spokeswoman, and Pia Mamut, a research associate at ZIN, talk about the project in this video.

The GEO1 Building

Research and teaching is carried out on seven floors in the GEO1 building in Heisenbergstraße. The building is home to the Landscape Ecology, Geoinformatics and Geography departments. The building is a special one – and not only because of its striking appearance and square form: it was planned and built with the aim of being as sustainable as possible. So attention was paid to sustainable materials and an efficient use of energy while it was being built. A lot of other technical details contribute to GEO1 being seen as a “green building”. Münster University energy manager Julia Strietholt explains in the video what these details are.

What does sustainability mean?

The first video is about understanding what sustainability means. Doris Fuchs, Professor of International Relations and Sustainable Development – and spokesperson for the Centre of Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research (ZIN) – gives a definition of the term.