1st Summer School in Kananaskis

1st ABBY-Net Summer School

August 5-13, 2012 in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

At the Barrier Lake Field Station of the University of Calgary’s Biosciences Institute



Interdisciplinary Approaches to Natural Resource Management and Energy Issues in Alberta

ABBY-Net is an interdisciplinary network of researchers from Albertan and Bavarian universities, striving to jointly address research topics that are of essential importance for the sustainable development of the Province of Alberta and the State of Bavaria under changing environmental conditions.

ABBY-Net’s inaugural Summer School trained young scientists in interdisciplinary approaches to energy and ecosystem research. The course focused on resource management and energy system issues in Alberta. Students attended seminars on key extra-disciplinary topics (hydrology, energy systems, environmental monitoring, data mining and data analysis) and participated in field excursions designed to educate participants on local ecosystems and energy conversion issues. Students were arranged into multi- institutional, international, multi-disciplinary teams and worked together to develop, discuss and present simulation models designed to predict the impact of different energy converting technologies on land use, resources, economy and environment.


Course Content

The first ABBY-Net Summer School program was divided into three sections:

  • Inter-disciplinary seminars were taught in the disciplines of ecological systems and land use, energy systems and computing science/data  mining. Seminars were taught by ABBY-Net members and guest lecturers.
  • Field excursions provided hands-on understanding of local ecosystems and the resource management issues they face. Participants visited glacial and peatland sites to study hydrologics as well as a tour of an oil and gas production facility.
  • Group project exercises required students to create inter-disciplinary research proposals on a resource-management issue of the students’ choosing. The research proposal topics presented by students included subsurface pipeline monitoring, methane gas loss from shale gas production, biomass energy production location analysis, and a decision support system for management of pine beetle infestation.


Guest speakers representing Imperial Oil, Siemens, and Alberta Environment spoke on oil and gas development in Alberta from both industrial and government perspectives.


Organizing Committee

Greg McDermid (University of Calgary)               

Klaus Diepold (TUM)            

Mario Nascimento (University of Alberta)              

Jürgen Karl (FAU)   

Stefan Kienzle (University of Lethbridge)              

Ralf Ludwig (LMU)            

Matthias Renz (LMU)

Peer Kröger (LMU)


With kindly acknowledged support from Randy Goebel (AITF) and Florence Gauzy (BayFOR).