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History of the Chair of Forestry Economics and Forest Planning

In the time period from 1945 to about 1968, the profile of the institute was decisively characterized by the work of Prof. Dr. Karl Abetz (see Detten 2001). Research and teaching concentrated on forest management planning, forestry business administration and forestry administration.

With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Speidel, clear shifts were seen in the research and teaching profile:

  • The research and teaching field of remote sensing – so far a part of the department of forest management planning – was, in keeping with the growing importance of the subject, organizationally outsourced (1969 official founding of the department by Prof. Dr. Gerd Hildebrand).
  • The weighting of research and teaching in forest management planning and forestry business administraion shifted. Speidel interpreted forest management as a part of  forestry business administration, which henceforth became the central focus of research and teaching in a neoclassic interpretation and oriented to the research program of Gutenberg (cf Oestern 1994).
  • From 1989 to 2012, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Oesten continued this shift in emphasis in the research and teaching profile towards forestry economics, with increasing inclusion of the socio-economics of forest use in research & teaching.

With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Marc Hanewinkel in October 2014, the professorship's research increasingly focuses on the topics of risk analysis (risk detection, modelling and assessment), impacts of climate change on European forests, development of adaptive management strategies, application of modern heuristics to problems of multifunctional forest management, and robust decisions in forest management under deep uncertainty.

Scientific profile

Current research focuses are:

  1. Risk analysis (risk identification, modelling and assessment) and
  2. Analysis of risk and uncertainty from a social science perspective
  3. Multifunctional forest management
  4. Global Change and Forest Economics
  5. "Management change" - forest conversion


Development of teaching

After the war until about the mid-1970s, teaching was almost entirely geared to the job profile of the Higher State Forest Service. With the changes in the labour market and the increased number of students, the range of courses was systematically changed and expanded. With the 1994 study reform, there was a complete reorientation of teaching both in terms of content (conveying a stronger reference to a variety of different occupational fields) and in didactic terms (turning away from the classic lecture format, new forms of mixing between lectures, exercises, practical training, seminars and excursions).


List of professors:

Director of the Institute and full professor for forest management and forest business administration:
1935 - 1964 Professor Dr. Karl Abetz (born 1896, died 1964)   
1966 - 1985 Professor Dr. Gerhard Speidel (born 1929, died 1992)
1985 - 1989 Professor Dr. Gerd Hildebrandt (born 1923, acting director, died 2017)
1989 - 2012 Professor Dr. Gerhard Oesten (born 1947)

Professors for Remote Sensing and Landscape Information Systems (Abt- FELIS until 2014)
1969 - 1989 Professor Dr. Gerd Hildebrandt (born 1923, died 2017)
1994 - today Professor Dr. Barbara Koch

Professor of Forest Economics and Forest Planning
2014 - today Professor Dr. Marc Hanewinkel (born 1963)

Detailed information here

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