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Jennifer Jefferson report1

Participating in field work at Kleinaltendorf.

3 May – 18 June 2015
Cologne, Germany

The goal of my visit to Germany was to learn more about vegetation measurements and how they relate to variables within land surface models.

Land surface models are commonly used to estimate evapotranspiration (ET) and its energy counterpart latent heat. In order to compute ET these models require several variables to describe vegetation characteristics and dynamics.

Currently, many of these model variables are set as constant values. As vegetation data becomes more readily available we need to think about how this information can be used within land surface models.


Several projects within the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (TR32) relate to land surface dynamics – from both modeling and measurement perspectives. During my visit I have interfaced with researchers who use models and those who work in the field. More specifically, I have:

  • Attended TR32 retreat in Schleiden, Germany from 11-13 May 2015.
  • Participated in field work and site visits to Kleinaltendorf and TR32 research sites.
  • Learned about fluorescence measurements of vegetation, how they are obtained and how they are being used to inform land surface models.
  • Presented at three research seminars (Susanne Crewell, Uwe Rascher and Karl Schneider).
  • Established contacts with four individuals whose research relates to hydrologic and vegetation modeling (Michael Hintz, Yen-Sen Lu, Tim Reichenau and Sebastian Weineke).

 Overall, I had a great visit to Germany. I found the range of projects and organization of TR32 to be very interesting and much different than the research group I am a part of at Colorado School of Mines. I enjoyed seeing the collaboration between people of different backgrounds and the efforts being made to identify patterns that exist within and between the atmosphere, land surface and subsurface. I am especially grateful for conversations with researchers with vegetation expertise and the time I spent out in the field; these are experiences I would not be able to get at my home institution. My visit provided insight that will help me bridge the gap between modelers and those who collect data in the field.

Note regarding field campaign activities: Due to the slow growth of the crops the European Space Agency (ESA) and TR32 field mapping campaign was moved from the end of May to the end of June (beginning on 29 June). It is unfortunate that I was not able to participate in the campaign prior to my departure.



Jennifer Jefferson report2
Visit to Merzenhausen field site with other TR32 researchers.


PhD Student: Jennifer Jefferson - Home institute: Colorado School of Mines, Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program; Golden, Colorado, United States

PhD project: "Connecting land surface modeling with vegetation observations"


For further information, please contact:


tn328 54d609d0981ab

Nadine Horst
(geb. Heinrichs)

IRTG Coordinator

University of Cologne
Institute for
Geophysics and Meteorology

D-50923 Cologne
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  +49 (0)221 470 1629
+49 (0)221 470 5161
icon mail   irtg@tr32.de

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