The course was organised for 20 students from the Bern University of Applied Sciences – School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL). A central aim set by Thibault Lachat (HAFL), Andreas Schuck (EFI) and Frank Krumm (WSL) was to ensure that students learn to make educated decisions by taking into account numerous aspects when managing forest stands. In particular, the workshop focused on how to ensure maintaining biological diversity in managed forests – and dealt with the question of what the gains are and where to make the trade-offs .
The tool ‘Marteloscope’ (see “Marteloscope sites: news on EFI’s outdoor forest classroom activities” ), the I+ Trainer Software and the exercise task were introduced to the students by Andreas Schuck and Frank Krumm. Students were asked to virtually harvest a set amount of high quality timber while identifying habitat trees in the stand. For the purpose of identifying tree microhabitats, the Integrate+ Tree Microhabitat Catalogue and the corresponding Phone App were presented and used. Following the exercise, the students were asked to explain and defend their silvicultural decisions at selected trees to the other student groups.
In a final wrap-up the students expressed that they very much liked the I+ Trainer Software. “Such hands on exercises with immediate display of results in the field are great as they well illustrate the challenges of the day to day work in forests”, they stated. Thibault Lachat noted that he is happy to repeat such exercises also in future with his students in the Marteloscope Sihlwald.