Science for the Carpathians email update

Science for the Carpathians Newsflash


3rd Forum Carpaticum – summary of the conference
New S4C Chair and SSC changes
New S4C website
COP 4 outcomes

Autumn is characteristically a time for conferences and scientific meetings. So it was this year for the S4C community because September 16, 2014 marked the opening of the 3rd Forum Carpaticum – S4C’s premier event which occurs every two years hosted by a different Carpathian country. This year, over one hundred and thirty researchers, academics, practitioners and students attended Forum Carpaticum 2014 (FC2014) in Lviv, Ukraine. Despite the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern regions, the atmosphere of the city was vibrant, the weather outstanding and the venue conducive to the exchange of ideas and networking. The organization of the meeting and the consistently high level of the scientific papers and posters contributed to the overall success of the meeting. Apart from scientific matters, the S4C Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) took the opportunity to make several executive decisions on the network by electing Dr. Ivan Kruhlov, Department of Geography, Lviv University, as the new Chair of the S4C. Dr. Kruhlov will be leading the network until 2016, when the S4C committee will assemble again in Bucharest for the 4th Forum Carpaticum - another important decision of the S4C SSC. This year, the Carpathian Convention Conference Fourth Meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP4), held in Mikulov, Czech Republic coincided with Forum Carpaticum and one of the principal outcomes was the adaptation and signing of the Protocol on Sustainable Transport.
As we can see, a lot is happening in the region. To check the details from the last three months, please consult our Newsflash!

Dominik Kaim, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Yurij Bihun, Shelterwood Systems, Vermont, USA
Three days, 18 sessions and workshops, lots of interesting oral and poster presentations and over one hundred and thirty participants. This, in a nutshell, might be regarded as an abbreviated summary of the 3rd Forum Carpaticum (FC2014) held September 16-18, 2014 in Lviv. The conference was organized under the title “Local Responses to Global Challenges” and that theme was reflected in the presentations. The issues of climate and land use change and their impact on the ecosystems of the Carpathians was a recurring theme in many works. In both the opening and conclusion sessions, the need and importance of further scientific, educational and organizational cooperation in the region was highlighted. To conclude, an important and interesting meeting took place in Lviv – many thanks to all the participants and organizers!
During the Forum, an important side event was organized - a meeting of the SnC-Mt Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region steering group. The idea of organizing a meeting during the Forum was based on the assumption that S4C might serve as a stimulus and model for further developing of the Caucasus group cooperation.

New S4C Chair and changes in S4C SSC

During FC2014, executive changes took place in the S4C SSC. Ivan Kruhlov (Ukraine), the main organizer of the FC 2014 became the S4C Chair for the 2014-2016. Jacek Kozak (Poland) was elected as Vice-Chair and Lubos Halada (Slovakia), Elena Matei (Romania) and Katalin Mazsa (Hungary) became the members of Executive Board. It was also decided that Dominik Kaim, the Communication Manager, would take part in the meetings or Skype-calls of the Executive Board.
The SSC was also enlarged to include new members: Maria Andrzejewska (Poland), Ovidiu Badea (Romania) and Jan Knorn (Germany) were elected new members.

Best Carpathian Student Paper Award 2014

During the closing session of the FC 2014, official results of the Best Carpathian Student Paper Awards were announced. The evaluation committee decided to award two second-place prizes and one first-place prize.

The first-place prize went to Catalina Munteanu (Romania) for the paper:

Munteanu, C., Kuemmerle, T., Boltiziar, M., Butsic, V., Gimmi, U., Halada, L., Kaim, D., Király, G., Konkoly-Gyuró, É., Kozak, J., Lieskovský, J., Mojses, M., Müller, D., Ostafin, K., Ostapowicz, K., Shandra, O., Štych, P., Walker, S., Radeloff, V. C., 2014, Forest and agricultural land change in the Carpathian region - A meta-analysis of long-term patterns and drivers of change. Land Use Policy 38: 685–697.

Two ex aequo, second-place prizes go to Juraj Lieskovský (Slovakia) and to Paweł Mikuś (Poland) for the papers:

Lieskovský, J., Kenderessy, P., Špulerová, J., Lieskovský, T., Koleda, P., Kienast, F., & Gimmi, U., 2014, Factors affecting the persistence of traditional agricultural landscapes in Slovakia during the collectivization of agriculture. Landscape Ecology 29(5): 867–877.

Mikuś P., Wyżga B., Kaczka R.J., Walusiak J., Zawiejska J., 2013, Islands in a European mountains river: Linkages with large wood deposition, flood flows and plant diversity. Geomorphology 202: 115–127.

Best Poster Award 2014

Three ex aequo posters were selected by the conference participants for the Best Poster Award during the conference:

Mihaela Vegra (Romania)–Criteria for Assessing Landscape Dynamics in the Central Part of the Eastern Carpathians. Case-Study: Bicaz River Basin

Anna Chrobak (Poland) –Along the beautiful, blue Orava River – project of geotouristic road trip

Jarosław Cebulski, Paweł Franczak (Poland) – Landslides in 3D - Taking stock of landslides, taking a look at the effectiveness of chosen methods

FC 2016 venue officially presented

The S4C SSC decided that the 4th Forum Carpaticum 2016 will be organized and held in Bucharest, Romania. During the closing session, the head of the organizing committee, Elena Matei presented the venue and the core of the organizing team, inviting all participants to Bucharest.

New S4C website launched

With great fanfare, the S4C communication would like to announce that the new S4C website is available under  In addition to current Carpathian news, events and publications, you can find many things related to the S4C and much more. The website is also connected with other S4C communication channels, so you can easily find them. Hope you will like it and feedback from S4C members is appreciated.

S4C Twitter

We have also launched  the S4C twitter account. Our primary aim is to use it if we want to communicate S4C activities outside the network. You can find it under:

COP 4 meeting summary

On September 23-26, 2014, the Carpathian Convention COP4 took place in Mikulov, Czechia. The main outcome of the conference was the adaptation and signing of the Protocol on Sustainable Transport. Another important achievement was also the adaptation of the Ministerial Declaration on Cultural Heritage and the Joint Alpine – Carpathian Statement on Adaptation to Climate Change. All of these documents can be found at the conference website.

During the meeting Harald Egerer, the Head of  the UNEP Vienna Office, presented all the activities and the achievements since the COP3.  Following the inputs prepared by S4C SSC,  he showed the main scientific challenges  that need to be addressed in the Carpathians and the priority actions until the following COP5 in 2017.
Lubos Halada, on behalf of S4C, made a statement during the Ministerial Segment of the Conference reaffirming the S4C scientific contribution to the Programme of Work of the Carpathian Convention for next years.
For further information please contact Eleonora Musco (UNEP Vienna ISCC) -

GLORIA initiative in the Slovak Carpathians
GLORIA is a worldwide research initiative (GLOBAL OBSERVATION RESEARCH INITIATIVE IN ALPINE ENVIRONMENTS) focused on the monitoring of alpine environment using uniform methodology (more information on GLORIA initiative including detailed research design is available at Permanent plots in Slovakia were established by a team from the Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia, in 2001 and resampled in 2008. The plots are located on four summits in the Tatra Mts. - Krížna (1 918.6 m a. s. l), Veľká kopa (2 052.4 m a. s. l), Sedielková Kopa (2 061.3m a. s. l) and Krátka (2 374.5 m a. s. l) and include all major alpine vegetation types typical for the region.  The next resampling is planned for 2015. There is an assumption that such dataset from three periods (2001, 2008, and 2015) will provide reliable data on trends taking place in the alpine zone of the Tatra Mts.
More:  Dr. Peter Barančok,

Late Pleistocene and Holocene climatic variability in the Carpathian-Balkan region
November 6-9, 2014, Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, ROMANIA

CHANGES final conference
November 18-19 2014, Padova, ITALY

GIS Ostrava - Surface models for geosciences
26-28 January 2015, Ostrava, CZECHIA

Sustainable Mountain Regions: Make Them Work
14-16 May 2015, Borovets, BULGARIA
17th International Symposium on Landscape Ecology
27-29 May 2015, Nitra, SLOVAKIA

IAMO Forum 2015: Agriculture and climate change
17-19 June 2015, Halle (Saale), GERMANY

Perth III: Mountains of Our Future Earth
4-8 October 2015, Perth, SCOTLAND
The impact of human activities on land use and land cover changes and environmental processes in the Gorce Mountains (Western Polish Carpathians) in the past 50 years
Bucała A., 2014, The impact of human activities on land use and land cover changes and environmental processes in the Gorce Mountains (Western Polish Carpathians) in the past 50 years. Journal of Environmental Management 138, 4–14. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.01.036

Spatial determinants of abandonment of large-scale arable lands and managed grasslands in Slovakia during the periods of post-socialist transition and European Union accession
Pazúr R., Lieskovský J., Feranec J., Oťaheľ J., 2014, Spatial determinants of abandonment of large-scale arable lands and managed grasslands in Slovakia during the periods of post-socialist transition and European Union accession. Applied Geography 54, 118–128. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.07.014

Assessment of the Accuracy of SRTM C- and X-Band High Mountain Elevation Data: a Case Study of the Polish Tatra Mountains
Kolecka N., Kozak J., 2014, Assessment of the Accuracy of SRTM C- and X-Band High Mountain Elevation Data: a Case Study of the Polish Tatra Mountains. Pure and Applied Geophysics 171, 897-912.
doi: 10.1007/s00024-013-0695-5

The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania
Hartel T., Fischer J., Câmpeanu C., Milcu A.I., Hanspach J., Fazey I., 2014, The importance of ecosystem services for rural inhabitants in a changing cultural landscape in Romania. Ecology and Society 19.

Forest disturbances, forest recovery, and changes in forest types across the Carpathian ecoregion from 1985 to 2010 based on Landsat image composites
Griffith P., Kuemmerle T., Baumann M., Radeloff V.C., Abrudan I.V., Lieskovsky J., Munteanu C., Ostapowicz K., Hostert P., 2014, Forest disturbances, forest recovery, and changes in forest types across the Carpathian ecoregion from 1985 to 2010 based on Landsat image composites. Remote Sensing of Environment 151: 72-88. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.04.022

Junior Professorship in the Didactics of the Natural Sciences - Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany)

Candidates must have demonstrated academic and instructional excellence in the core disciplines of biology and/or chemistry. Instruction in both disciplines will be covered by this appointment. Candidates must be willing to develop close institutional cooperation within these academic disciplines in order to ensure the inclusion of a didactic perspective by all partners within these academic subjects. Candidates must represent the didactics of the natural sciences with sufficient breadth both within the field of didactics and their particular scientific discipline.

Junior Professorship Sustainability Science - Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany)

Applicants should have a university degree in a relevant field for sustainability science and in depth understanding of sustainability science. A further requirement is a track record in engaging with sustainability problems and solutions at systemic but especially at normative and transformative levels. Proven interest and expertise in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines as well as actors outside academia is a requirement. Besides a strong publication record relative to opportunity, tangible experience with outreach is expected. Expertise in one or more of the core research areas of the Faculty of Sustainability would be beneficial (i.e. ecosystem services, energy transition, social challenges related to sustainability, physical resources).

Professorial Position - Human Behaviour and Sustainable Development (W3) - Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany)

Candidates should be engaged in the areas of human-environment interaction with investigations into cooperation and altruism, information processing and communication, complexity and decision-making, emotions and actions or values and societal transformation processes on the basis of their expertise in anthropology, social psychology, behavioral studies, communications sciences or environmental and sustainability studies. They should have experience in fields related to concrete applications, such as consumption, life styles, perception of nature, mobility and energy behavior, or cultural comparisons. The integration of ethical considerations, fundamental ideas for transformative research, as well as the integration of gender mainstreaming aspects are desirable.

Professorial Position - Sustainability Economics (m/f) - Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany)

Applicants should be working on concepts of sustainability, the analysis of phenomena outside sustainable development, as well as regulatory and other economic and social political approaches to these phenomena. Candidates should possess skills related to specific analytical approaches and solutions, as well as experience with sustainable transformations in concrete fields of application such as, for example, energy, biodiversity, climate, mobility, consumption, organization, trade in international context or modern approaches to a post-growth economy.
Carpathian science (or not) related
Tour de Pologne 2014 bicycle race in the Carpathians

With an 86-year tradition, the Tour de Pologne  road bicycle race, is the most prestigious Polish sports event. Since 2005, the race is part of the ProTour cycle - the only one in Central and Eastern Europe. Millions of people watched the 2014 edition on the road and on TV (broadcast on Polish TV and Eurosport – in 20 languages, in 54 countries).  This year, two stages were organized in the Carpathians, including Slovakia! The event is a great occasion to promote the Carpathian landscape. The race gallery is available on the website; including two stages organized in the mountains:

Mountain - A mountain simulator computer game

You do not need a mouse or a keyboard to play it, but it is a simulator - a mountain simulator.  It is hard to imagine, but it is true. The game is the work of visual artist David O’Reilly and aims at showing the video game from different perspective. As noted in one of the reviews, it is human-centered game design. Opinions on the game differ, but, in the near future, one can envision that the video game industry might play an important role in communicating many important scientific problems to wider public. Maybe “Mountain” is just an interesting, first step to understanding dynamic mountain ecosystems throughout the world.
The official game website

The Science for the Carpathians (S4C) Newsflash is sent out every three months to the 440 addresses of the S4C Network. The next Newsflash is planned for January 2015. Please send us any information you want to be distributed to the network (target length 80-90 words). If you have documents to share please send us the web link rather than the document. To send questions or comments, or if you do not wish to receive this mailing, please reply to to Dominik Kaim (

Sincerely yours,

Dominik Kaim, Jagiellonian University
Yurij Bihun, Director, Shelterwood Systems


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