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Current projects




Innovation on Remote Sensing Education and Learning (IRSEL)

program: Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education, Key Action 2
project ID: 586037-EPP-1-2017-1-HU-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP
date: 2017-2020
coordynator: Jacek Kozak
collaborator: Monika Dobosz, Natalia Kolecka, Jacek Kozak, Aneta Szablowska-Midor, Agnieszka Wypych

The goal of the transcontinental cooperation between Europe and Asia in the field of remote sensing under the project Innovation in Remote Sensing Education and Learning (IRSEL) is to create an innovative e-learning platform for universities in China and Thailand. The three-year project (from October 2017 to October 2020) involves 8 educational institutions. Four of them are European universities (Óbuda University, Alba Regia Technical Faculty in Hungary, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Austria, Jagiellonian University in Poland and University of Twente in the Netherlands). The next four are colleges from China (Fujian Normal University and Yunnan Normal University) and Thailand (Asian Institute of Technology and Khon Kaen University).

It is assumed that as a result of the project 20 e-learning modules will be created on various remote sensing issues, both theoretical and practical, depicted by means of specific applications in various fields. It is planned to include development of content related to the acquisition of remote sensing data, satellite image processing, detection of changes in land use, vegetation monitoring, climate change or analyzes in three-dimensional space. The role of the Jagiellonian University in the project, represented by the Department of Geographic Information Systems, Cartography and Remote Sensing (Institute of Geography and Spatial Management), consists in comparing existing curricula in partner institutions, organizing workshops devoted to innovative teaching and learning methods and preparing infrastructure for distance learning as well as the development of study guides.

more information at:



FORECOM: Forest cover changes in mountainous regions – drivers, trajectories and implications

Research project supported by the Swiss Cooperation Programme of the new member states of the European Union
date: 2012-2016
project leader: Jacek Kozak
research team from IG&SM: Joanna Depta, Dominik Kaim, Natalia Kolecka, Małgorzata Luc, Krzysztof Ostafin, Katarzyna Ostapowicz, Aneta Szablowska-Midor, Mateusz Troll, Zbigniew Ustrnul, Agnieszka Wypych

collaborators: the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

The FORECOM project aims to improve understanding of past, present and future forest cover changes in the Swiss Alps and the Polish Carpathians in the context of land use and climate changes. In the project we plan first to identify trends in forest cover change over the past 150 years for the Polish Carpathians and the Swiss Alps. Then we intend to quantify relative contributions of climate and land use to the past forest cover change and to develop combined climate and land use change scenarios for projecting future forest cover change. Our final goal is to assess important implications of forest cover change: potential impacts on biodiversity and trends in forest carbon pools, adding in this way to the current debates on human drivers of the global climate change.

To reach the project objectives we intend to work extensively with historical maps available both for the Swiss Alps and the Polish Carpathians since the 19th century; additionally, we plan to use aerial photos, high resolution satellite imagery and airborne laser scanning data. Spatially explicit models will be constructed on a basis of available data integrated and processed by means of geographic information systems. An important technology-oriented aspect of the project will be the development of robust methodologies and tools to capture, integrate and process cartographic and earth observation data.

Expected results of the project are long-term and large scale reconstructions of historical forest cover dynamics for the Swiss Alps and the Polish Carpathians, quantification of relative effects of climate and land use change on forest cover change, improved models allowing predictions of forest cover change under various land use / climate change scenarios, and assessments of important consequences of forest cover change.

more information at:


200 years of land use and land cover changes and their driving forces in the Carpathian Basin

Research project supported by NASA
date: 2011-2014
project leader in the IG&SM: Jacek Kozak
research team from IG&SM: Dominik Kaim, Małgorzata Luc, Krzysztof Ostafin, Katarzyna Ostapowicz, Mateusz Troll

project leader: University Wisconsin-Madison
collaborators: University of West Hungary, Sopron, Hungary; Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences Branch Nitra, Nitra, Slovakia; Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), Halle (Saale), Germany; Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf, Switzerland; Department of Geography, Humboldt-University at Berlin, Berlin, Germany

The aim of the project is to study long-term agricultural change in the Carpathian Basin (i.e., the Pannonian Plain and the Carpathian Mountains) in Central and Eastern Europe, a region that has been dominated by agriculture for centuries and that has experienced several major socio-economic transformations during the 19th and 20th centuries (i.e., World War I and the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; World War II; the rise and fall of socialism; and the eastward expansion of the European Union). These socio-economic transformations have triggered drastic land use change, rendering the region a hotspot of agricultural land use change. We will improve understanding of patterns of agricultural LCLUC in a rapidly transforming region and we will provide novel insights into dynamics of agricultural land use systems in response to major shifts in institutional, economic and societal conditions. Our overarching goal is to quantify long-term and recent agricultural land cover and land use change (LCLUC) in the Carpathian Basin and to understand its underlying causes. These analyses will provide a better understanding of how socioeconomic shocks and rapid institutional transformation affect agricultural land use systems, and will substantially improve knowledge about non-linearities and tipping points in land use transitions.
To advance land use science and our understanding of land use transitions, our proposed project has three major goals:

  • first to improve knowledge about long-term agricultural land use change in regions with long land use legacies,
  • second to quantify rates and patterns of agricultural land use change in response to drastic economic and institutional transformations (i.e., the breakdown of socialism and the EU expansion)
  • third, to build understanding of the drivers of agricultural land use change and the relative importance of past land use legacies for determining current land use change.

more information at: