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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-07-01 - 2019-06-30

Farmers’ homegardens, their diversity of the plant species used and the associated knowledge of the garden managers are an integral part of the cultural landscape of the Lienz district of Eastern Tyrol. Scientists and scholars of the BG/BRG Lienz, together with high-school teachers of Biology, Mathematics & English, will investigate farmers ‘ homegardens, i.e., the plant inventory and the use of plants. The results will be compared to data collected from surveys conducted 20 years ago in the same gardens and will help identify transformations of the gardens and their management. To obtain a better understanding of the local perception of the significance of these homegardens, additionally the perception of the garden managers and their neighbors on ecosystem-services delivered by the gardens will be recorded. In the course, the management techniques that adapt to extreme weather conditions and the securing of sustainable management practices will be explored. Within the scope of a complementary citizen science module the local community will be invited to collect additional data on ecosystem-services in their homegardens. Scholars will be integrated into the entire research process with regard to their affinities and resources. In workshops they will be prepared for their cooperation. The research process, the analysis and the communication of the results will be reviewed with them. The preparation of in depth pre-scientific papers will allow particularly motivated scholars to monitor birds, insects or soil parameters in farmers’ homegardens. Complementary the project offers a gender sensitive approach and promotion of women in MINT studies. With the integration of the project into the schools subject mathematics a highly professional quantitative analysis of the results is intended. Also with the integration into the subject English the use of a technical correct terminology will be accomplished. Communication about the research process and its results will be supported by the use of the scholars’ mobile phone cameras. Experts will teach scholars, the professional handling of video and photographic images, for the purpose of documentation supplemented by inputs on creative writing techniques. Web-sites, science blogs and science slams will provide information to the broader public.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2017-03-01 - 2017-08-31

Before the invention of synthetic dyes, all dyes were based on natural resources. Dyeing with indigo was a possibility to achieve lightfast blue colours on textiles. Woad (Isatis tinctoria L.) was the only source for indigo in Europe for a long time. From the 16th century onwards, it was replaced almost completely by imported tropical indigo, which was replaced, in turn, by synthetic indigo at the end of the 19th/20th century. The aim of the project is to estimate the possibilities to produce natural indigo in organic farming and in the region, i.e. Vienna and the surrounding areas (“Wiener Blau”). The species suitable for our climate are woad and dyer’s knotweed (Polygonum tinctorium Ait.). As a first step, we want to find out which quality can be achieved compared to samples available at the market and what needs to be further optimised. The indigotin content in the extract will serve as quality criteria. Indigo has to be extracted from fresh plant material, therefore plants are cultivated for the project. Different extraction methods described in literature will be tested. The indigotin content in the extracts produced in the project compared to the samples available at the market will be determined by photometric methods.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2016-07-16 - 2021-06-30

Local communities on the Iberian Peninsula developed a diversity of sustainable land-use systems based on local knowledge. Ethnobotanical research documented this knowledge from local actors in the last decades and, besides describing traditional land-use systems and homegardening practices, this research especially concentrated on wild plant gathering and use. Recently, the importance of connecting of research results with organic farming was highlighted for developing sustainable strategies for wild plant gathering and use and related value chains. This project aims to systemize the experiences made on wild plant gathering and use to understand the potential and challenges for further development especially in organic farming. The results will be compared to developments in other European countries for highlighting particularities and potential for further development.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations