In order to support your decision-making process, regarding topic selection for conducting a Study Project or Thesis at the Department of Geopedology and Landscape Development, we have prepared a few important notes for you to follow. The reason being that we want both, you and us, to have a good and most effective time working together.
Generally, we supervise studies that involve field or lab work in Environmental Science analyzing the Earth’s Critical Zone (CZ) that is build up by soils and landforms through natural and human processes. We generally combine a student’s thesis with an ongoing or planned externally funded project covering one of our focus areas (Quaternary Landscape Development, Geoarchaeology and Holocene Land Use History, Geoecological Processes at the Earth’s Surface, Anthropogenic Impact on Ecosystems and Land Use). We do not offer a fixed list of topics. The availability of Study Projects or Theses is dependent on the progress of our research projects. However, we are open to supervise topics that are proposed to us by students. However, topics proposed by students should fit within the scope of our department.
The main aspect of scientific compared to other writing forms is the purpose. Whereas novels use metaphors and other stylistic elements, in science the main focus lies on clear, understandable and purpose oriented writing. This means using short, direct sentences to get the information across. The use of long and complex sentences is often counterproductive and should be avoided if possible. The main theme of the text are the hypotheses of the scientific project and all structural elements aim to proof or falsify them. The following guide provides a basis for scientific writing. It gives an overview of the main structural elements of a scientific text as well as providing general tips for layout and citations.
Additional general advice on scientific work, including time management, research and reading of texts, can be found in the following guide:
Thomas Raab and the Geopedology and Landscape Development Team