LLP Intensive Program Course: “Socio-Economic Challenges in European Forestry”

The IP was organized by the Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences (RAMK, Finland) in April 4 – 15, 2011. Six European universities were involved: besides RAMK, Tampere Uiversity of Applied Sciences (Finland), Swedish University of Agricultural Science (Sweden), Agricultural University of Cracow (Poland), Inverness College (UK) and Mendel University in Brno (Czech Republic). Each partner was represented by two teachers and maximum of six students.

Main thematic focus was to the stakeholder analysis and participatory planning. Beautiful region of Lapland served as the area of case study. Students attended lectures about Lapland and theory basis of stakeholder analysis. Two days excursion beyond the Polar Circle formed part of the IP Course too. Participants could see the region and could meet relevant people (reindeer herders, turist agency, municipality, nature park). Students then prepared their analysis of the case study region, as well as analysis of home region, after the return to the home universities. See the article about IP Course in the RAMK University News (pg.7).

GIS tools are very useful dealing with such kind of analysis. The students were introduced to the Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) through the IDRISI software. They worked under the guidance of the Czech teachers Mr. Martin Klimanek and Ms. Lucie Zejdova, whose home university department is one of the Idrisi Resource Centers. The students tried to solve a spatial decision case study. First, Boolean approach was performed. Then they used the Idrisi Decision Wizard to complete the same task with the Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) approach. The results, advantages and disadvantages, of both methods were discussed.

Second part of the exercise was devoted to the Land Change Modeler, other very complex and useful tool of Idrisi software. The students gained knowledge about basic land change analysis (graphs and maps), and theory base of transition potentials and land change modeling was explained them too. 
The exercise was done on stand alone versions of the IDRISI software, which were provided by the Clark Labs. The students and teachers got their copy for their personal use.