Earth observations for achieving the SDGs? ECOPOTENTIAL @ STI Forum 2018  – UN headquarters, NY.

Third annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018)

ECOPOTENTIAL and the twin project SWOS will be presented at the side event “Earth observations for achieving the SDGs” organized by the EU in the frame of the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals that will take place in New York on June 5-6 2018. (STI Forum 2018).
Aim of the event is to bring together key expertise from European funded research projects showing how technological changes in the field of EO are applied to achieve the SDGs. ECOPOTENTIAL will be presented by dr. Palma Blonda, senior researcher at the National Council of Research of Italy, internationally renowned expert in the use of Earth Observation Technologies and partner in ECOPOTENTIAL.
The programme of the events sees four invited talks from, Jack Metthey (European Commission), Apollonia Miola (Joint Research Centre), Kathrin Weise (Project lead SWOS) and the ECOPOTENTIAL representative Palma Blonda from CNR.

LTER EAP Scientific Conference
Taichung, Taiwan, 14-17 October 2018
Call for Abstracts: Submission deadline extended to 30 June
During the week 14-17 October 2018, the ILTER East Asia Pacific (EAP) regional network will conduct a scientific conference with the topic
Resilience of Ecosystems in Natural and Human-dominated Landscapes.
After the conference, 18 and 19 October, ILTER will hold its annual Coordinating Committee Meeting. The entire event will be hosted by the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Tunghai University, TERN (Taiwan Ecological Research Network). We are very pleased to announce that abstracts submission is still open because the deadline has been extended to 30 June. For more information on the event, please see the ILTER website.  Abstracts are invited for the following themes: 

  • Resilience of socio-ecological systems
  • Drivers of long-term changes in biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and services
  • Nutrient cycling and critical zone research
  • Towards harmonization and standardization of observations
  • Long term response and feedback of Asian terrestrial ecosystems to climate change
  • Graduate speed talk

These themes are elaborated on in our abstract submission system. As a prerequisite to submit an abstract, you are kindly requested to register, then define presenters, and thereafter enter your abstract.  ILTER is looking forward for your contributions and to meeting with you in Taiwan!  Best wishes, Herbert ILTER Secretary

Go to ILTER Abstract Submission System:

The H2020 magazine has recently published this article,, reporting about ECOPOTENTIAL and SWOS projects work.
the article comments about the news on a research about the decline of bird’s population in France, and, starting from this important finding and the research done in Camargue, explain the work and approach of the two twin projects ECOPOTENTIAL and SWOS, highlighting the role of climate and environmental pressures on changes in ecosystems and shifts of animal populations and the use of Sentinel satellites for monitoring and studying ecosystems’ health.

IIA-CNR conference sees a great participation of ECOPOTENTIAL researchers

On May 9-10, 2018, the Conference of the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution CNR-IIA  has taken place at the CNR campus in Montelibretti, with a two-day presentation that illustrated the research activities carried out by the Institute.
A great part of the presentations were related to the ECOPOTENTIAL Project, as many CNR researchers  with a key role in ECOPOTENTIAL are part of the CNR-IIA Institute. The institute is active in many European and international project and its director, dr. Nicola Pirrone, is the Italian GEO Principal. The conference has been very rich and varied, spanning from the varous aspects of research on atmospheric pollution (the historical core activities of the institute) to the new manyfold activities on the worldwide monitoring of Mercury (the Global Mercury Observation System) after the coming in force of the Minamata convention, and including the many presentations of the ECOPOTENTIAL researchers, focussing of the e-infrastructures and virtual laboratories and on the use of satellite data for the monitoring of ecosystems, ecosystem functions and servies and land cover changes. The key ECOPOTENTIAL-related talk has been the one of Saverio Vicario, M. Adamo, C. Tarantino, B. Biagi, F. M. Rana, S. Nativi, P. Mazzetti, M. Santoro, C. Bassani, P. Blonda, entitled: Improving future ecosystem benefits through Earth observations (ECOPOTENTIAL): Integrated system for the multi-scale study of ecosystem functions and services in protected areas through OT data in support of GEOSS. The conference has been a key moment to take stock of the situation, to verify where the institute has come so far and what the work of the Institute has produced, but with an eye to the future and the challenges of the coming years.



The Wadden Sea World Heritage Summer School will take place from 18 – 31 August 2018.
During this two-week summer school, master students and early PhD students will explore the natural dynamics of the Wadden Sea together with scientists on the islands of Sylt (D), Spiekeroog (D) and Texel (NL).
The Wadden Sea is an international, highly productive estuarine area, and one of the Protected Areas of the H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL project.
Students will learn about concepts and methods needed to examine key ecological processes in estuarine ecosystems, and will gain a basic understanding of the challenges of managing a World Natural Heritage Site on a national and trilateral level.
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Summer School is a joint initiative of three research institutes, namely NIOZ, ICBM and AWI, as well as the Waddenacademie.
The summer school is limited to 16 students. Proficiency in English is required.
To apply for participation in the summer school, please register via this registration form:
Students are asked to supply us with two reference letters which should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All applicants will be informed about the selection outcome in early July 2018. The deadline to apply is 30 June, 2018.
The programme and all further information on the summer school, can be found here


Summer Course on Critical Zone and Ecosystem Dynamics
Ceresole Reale, Gran Paradiso National Park, Piedmont, Italy
10-18 July 2018

Timothy White (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Antonello Provenzale (Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, CNR, Pisa, Italy)

The Critical Zone (CZ) is the support system for all terrestrial ecosystems, extending from unweathered rock to the top of any vegetation canopy. In the CZ, physical, biological, geological and hydrological processes interact at multiple temporal and spatial scales.

This 9-day-long summer course intends to provide basic knowledge about the functioning of the Critical Zone and its relationships with ecosystem dynamics, focusing on aspects related to hydrology, soil geochemistry and weathering, vegetation dynamics and distribution, microbiota, biodiversity, ecosystem processes, CZ-relevant geological processes and the role of the CZ for achieving sustainable development goals. The course will consider in-situ data, long-term ecosystem research, chemical and isotopic laboratory analyses, remote sensing observations and numerical modeling, and it will include three days of field lectures, experimentation and excursions to study sites and CZ observatories in the Italian Alps.

The course is intended for Doctoral students, post-docs and researchers who are working or intend to work on Critical Zone processes and ecosystem dynamics. Lectures will be held in the main lecture hall of the Grand Hotel of Ceresole Reale in the Gran Paradiso National Park.

The international Gran Paradiso Summer School on "Fundamental Processes in Earth System Dynamics" is organized by the Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources and by the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the Italian National Research Council, in collaboration with the Gran Paradiso National Park. The school ideally continues the tradition started with the "Alpine Summer School", active from 1994 to 2016.

Download the poster of the Summer Course

Join us from 2-4 May 2018 at the European Space Agency in Frascati, Italy, as we bring together data providers and users to share knowledge and best practices in the management and use of Earth observation data, while working together to enhance the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

The 3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop will feature 3 days of dynamic sessions aimed at connecting data providers and users as part of the GEOSS Platform community.

Who should attend?

Data providers and users contributing to or benefiting from Earth observations are invited to attend the Workshop. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and engage with other providers and users, share their needs and services, and exchange ideas for collaboration.

Learn more and register here.

We are pleased to release the 2018  and 2019 ECOPOTENTIAL calendars!

The calendars show a different protected area each month, displaying a picture of the landscape or an iconic species, a remote sensing image and a very brief explanation of the research work made in ECOPOTENTIAL.  The cover picture depicts a view of Gran Paradiso's massif with a close-up of the Eriophorum scheuchzeri.

2018 calendar can be downloaded here

2019 calendar can be downloaded here

Please print them  - donate them  - publish them !! share them !!
They are released under the Creative Common Licence BY-NC-ND: see: Creative_Commons_license#Seven_regularly_used_licenses
that allows free reproduction and use of the calendar  for non commercial use but no partial reproduction or modification - and grants the photo copyrights to authors.
We thank all partners who contributed with pictures, texts and RS images..

We are happy to announce the release of the book: “SPACED: USING EARTH OBSERVATION TO PROTECT NATURAL LANDSCAPES”, edited by Cristina Domingo and Joan Maso (CREAF). The book describes how Earth observation is used for monitoring and studying ecosystems in the 24 protected areas investigated in the H2020 project ECOPOTENTIAL. It describes a collection of scenarios where Earth observation data is essential, accompanied by visual maps covering the whole extension of each protected area. The main purpose of this volume is to illustrate the capabilities of remote sensing and how this technique is being applied in many ways to monitor several different aspects of ecosystems and environmental conditions. Each type of ecosystem (mountain, arid or coastal and marine) presents different challenges that will be addressed through different Earth observation and data analysis approaches.
We trust that this book will illustrate the extent to which Earth observation by satellites has become a crucial tool for obtaining a global view of natural ecosystems, as well as for monitoring ongoing changes and supporting knowledge-based conservation and management strategies.

The H2020 project ECOPOTENTIAL has organised a workshop on the use of Earth Observation for natural landscapes, that has taken place in Brussels on the 10th of January 2018. The main objective of the workshop has been to prospect the state-of-the-art of Remote Sensing as a Sentinel tool to monitor, characterize and understand the state, ongoing changes and effectiveness of conservation and management actions of natural landscapes and to facilitate an open debate among scientists and the involved Institutions. This workshop has been part of the multiple events organized by the ECOPOTENTIAL Project on the week of 9th-12th of January 2018, starting on Jan 9th with the opening of the photo-exhibition with the same title, on display at the European Parliament.
The workshop has seen the presence of about 70 among scientists and representatives of European institutions, and has presented the views of European institutions, of other related research networks and projects and of ECOPOTENTIAL researchers in their approach to the use of remote sensing for the study of natural landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity.
You can download the agenda and the presentations here:

Spaced workshop AGENDA Jan 10 2018

Presentations SPACED Bruxelles 10 01 2018

Invitation to the Workshop:

SPACED: Using Earth Observations to Protect Natural Landscapes

The ECOPOTENTIAL H2020 project, focusing its activities on blending Earth Observations from remote sensing, field measurements, data analysis and modeling of current and future ecosystem conditions and services, is organizing this workshop in Brussels on the 10th of January 2018, from 9.00 to 17:30.

Europe’s latest generation of satellites are opening up a frontier of possibilities to observe the natural environment from above. Monitoring cross-scale geosphere-biosphere interactions at regional to continental scales, addressing long-term and large-scale environmental and ecological challenges is essential.

The main objective of the workshop is to prospect the state-of-the-art of Remote Sensing as a Sentinel tool to monitor, characterize and understand the state, ongoing changes and effectiveness of conservation and management actions of natural landscapes and to facilitate an open debate among scientists and the involved Institutions. This workshop is part of the multiple events organized by the ECOPOTENTIAL Project on the week of 9th-12th of January 2018, starting on Jan 9th with the opening of the photo-exhibition with the same title, on display at the European Parliament.

We sincerely look forward to the confirmation of your presence. Due to limited capacity of the venue, attendees are accepted in order of registration. You can register on line at:

For additional information about the workshop please contact:

Silvia Giamberini (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Cristina Domingo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

You can download the agenda here.

The first Citizen Science conference will take place in Rome from 23rd to 25th of November 2017 at the Italian National Research Council Headquarters, Conference Hall, Piazzale Aldo Moro 7, Rome, Italy.

The Conference is organized by the Italian National Academy of Sciences (known as Academy of the XL), in partnership with Italian and European Institutions, with the support of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) in the framework of the LifeWatch-ITA program.

Specific sessions will be dedicated to:

  • Biological monitoring trough Citizen Science
  • Citizen Science and Society
  • National Citizen Science Networks
  • Platforms and e-services for Citizen Science

Visit for Programme, registration and all the related information!


On October 23-27 2017, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community will come together at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. for GEO Week 2017. GEO Week 2017, consisting of GEO-XIV Plenary, side events and exhibition, will highlight and promote the role, applications and opportunities to use Earth Observations (EO) in delivering 'Insight for a changing world'.

With a focus on delivery and impact, GEO Week 2017 will explore the use and applications of EO in both the public and private sectors for the benefit of humankind.

ECOPOTENTIAL will be presented on
Tuesday 24th of October, 10:30-12:30, at the Side Event "Earth Observation for achieving and monitoring mountain-related SDGs: Ecopotential, GEO-GNOME and GEO-ECO" and will be at the EUROGEOSS Stand with two posters.

Following the First Italian Citizen Science conference, the ECOPOTENTIAL Workshop on Citizen Science in Protected Areas will be held in Roma (Italy) on the 21th November 2017. The workshop is supported by EUROPARC Federation, the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The workshop aims at exploring how citizen science can enhance environmental monitoring in protected areas and builds the foundation for an practical guide on why and how to establish citizen science projects in protected areas in Europe and what to consider at all stages of running citizen science in protected areas.
The workshop provides opportunities to establish networks between protected area managers, environmental NGO’s representatives and researchers throughout European protected areas.
The program is available here. (Ecopotential Citizen Science Workshop Programme).
Registrations are opened until 31/10/2017. Travel/accommodation costs can be covered under certain conditions, do not hesitate to ask us if needed.
To register and for any further information, please contact Anett Richter (iDiv / UFZ) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Emilie Crouzat (iDiv/UFZ) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the workshop!
Emilie, Aletta and Anett

The 25th International Long Term Ecological Research network (ILTER) conference has taken place in Nantes, France, from Oct 2nd to Oct 4th 2017, combined with the French Zone Atelier biennial Conference.  It focussed on many aspects of the ecological research, including also the socio-economical aspects of ecological research. The purpose of this joint conference has been to bring together scientists, engineers from environmental sciences and social sciences, programme managers and policy makers to exchange knowledge, to share experiences and research results, to discuss the most recent developments and applications on environmental research.
The diversity of the presentations given revealed the great need for a multidisciplinary approach in any of the contexts and of the ecosystems investigated.
A great interest has been devoted to the  study of the anthropogenic impact on global biogeochemical cycle, with a  session aimed at showing how long-term monitoring of ecosystems (and of the critical zone) is crucial not only for a better understanding of ecosystem behaviour and trajectories but also for identifying key processes and feedbacks between the physical, biological and social system components of the biosphere.
ECOPOTENTIAL scientists have taken part to the conference with two oral presentations and one poster by CNR-IGG (IT), one presentation by Technion (IL) and with partners who are active members of the coordination of the ILTER network. Here the link to the programme of the conference and to the abstract book:


Researchers Night is a Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun learning. This year it took place on Friday 29 September, with hundreds of events in over 300 cities in Europe and neighbouring countries. The events showcase what researchers really do for society in interactive and engaging ways, promoting research careers to young people and their parents.

After last year success, ECOPOTENTIAL participated in different countries also this year, such as Italy (Pisa), Greece (Heraklion, Crete) and Spain (Granada). All the partners showed posters and videos produced by the project for the public, give out leaflets and provided information about project’s aims and activities. The “scientific game” was also an opportunity for younger people to test their knowledge about ecosystem services and scientific method!

Other specific activities were organised: for example the group from the University of Granada carried out an activity for teenagers in which they explained the expected impacts of global change in the Mediterranean area as well as the concept of ecological model. The students had the opportunity to manipulate and execute a simplified Agent-Based Model simulating the population dynamics of the pine processionary moth, a species expected to benefit from global change. In the model, they could increase or decrease the average temperature and see how the processionary population was affected by this growth, as well as how the pine on which it feeds would develop under such new conditions. The students were very interested in the population dynamics of the pine processionary moth (they are in fact familiar with this species), showing great participation and interaction with the Agent-Based Model. Furthermore it was a great example for them to understand how climate change is a real threat in their life.

The original model in which this simplified version is used by the University of Granada research group and is based on Lidar-processed images to define the distribution of the pines on the landscape. Work is on-going within the group to use satellite images to detect defoliation caused by this species and thus validate model results.

A new open access publication by ECOPOTENTIALists  Danijela Markovic, Oskar Kärcher and Ariane Walz has been published in Global Change Biology.
The paper  introduces a novel framework for assessing climate change vulnerability tailored to freshwater ecosystems. The resulting indices were overlaid to assess the climate change vulnerability of all European freshwater ecosystems at the catchment scale and identify priority catchments that facilitate the development of climate change conservation management strategies.

Check the video summary of the study!


Washington DC, 23-27 October 2017

The ECOPOTENTIAL project will participate at the GEO-XIV Plenary meeting in Washington DC, USA. Latest activities and main outputs of the project will be presented through a series of posters and videos displayed at the European Commission’s booth in the Exhibition area.
Two of these videos are shown here:

ECOPOTENTIAL storylines tell the major ecological challenges related to each Protected Area and the tools and models used to address them, as described in this new ECOPOTENTIAL video accompanied by wonderful pictures of the study areas. Enjoy!


One of the main outputs of the Project is the ECOPOTENTIAL Virtual Laboratory (VLAB). It is a cloud-based virtual platform enabling information access and knowledge generation for the ecosystem science community of practice, where users can access data and information on protected areas and related storylines.