Profile of the department
Department of Applied ecology (DAE) – former Department of Landscape Ecology – was founded in September 1, 1991 initially as a part of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zvolen. From January 1, 1992 the Department was associated with the Faculty of Ecology (later known as the Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences – FEES), of the Technical University in Zvolen.
DAE represents a principal part of FEES TU in Zvolen since it guarantees the education of several profile and state exams subjects within one out of two study branches Applied Ecology (the second one is Environmental Science, partly educated by DAE, too). From 2005 it has been fully conducting and guaranteeing the Ecology and The Land Use study program. It also participates at the education within three other study programs of FEES. The domain of DAE within mentioned study program is the specialization in the field of Landscape Ecology and Nature Conservation.
DAE guarantees and provides following subjects: Landscape ecology, Nature and landscape protection, Environmental systems – Forest ecosystem, Amelioration, Environmental education, Management of protected areas, Geomorphology, Wood vegetation protection, Fundamentals of forestry, Fundamentals of socio-economical geography, Chosen problems of practical nature protection, Landscape ecological carrying capacity, Geoecology of mountain and alpine areas and World national parks. The first three mentioned subjects are the state exams subjects for the specialization Landscape Ecology and Nature Protection, subject Amelioration is a state exam for the specialization Landscape Engineering and Landscape Creation.
Within the new study programs following subjects were added: Forest ecology, Physical geography – lithosphere and relief, Physical geography – pedosphere, Integrated management of drainage areas, Theory of landscape and landscape ecology, Landscape carrying capacity and Land use.
The scientific-research activity is an equivalent part of the working content of DAE. In the beginning these activities were focused mainly on topics concerning and assessing: the morphogenesis and present relief-forming processes in the landscape system of the high-mountains units at the Western Carpathians; forest management in the flysch areas of Slovakia, soil protection; avalanches; mountain forests and dwarfed pine stands; soil-protection, water-management and recreational forest functions; forest management in altered ecological conditions; effect of clear-cutting, shelter and selection forest management on surface runoff and erosion-based soil losses; ecological carrying capacity of areas above the upper forest boundary at the Tatry Low Tatry NPs; structure of high-mountain landscape systems in Slovakia and their sustainable use.
Beside the topics concerning the landscape ecology and ecosystems in the Slovak biosphere reserves, the department is focusing also on following study fields:
- assessing the ecological stability of forest ecosystems,
- assessing the human impacts and critical loads in forest ecosystems
- nature protection in large and small scaled protected areas of Slovakia,
- hydric and water-management forest functions,
- ecology of permanent grass ecosystems,
- ecological carrying capacity of the landscape in the terms of sustainable development and potentials for human activities
- structure of animal communities in different landscape types and under influence of various land use.
Department of Applied Ecology in the educational process provides teaching mainly within the study program of Ecology and Land Use in the bachelor degree study program as well as in the master degree study program. The research activity is aimed at the complex issues of landscape ecology and its ecosystem in Slovakia. Department for example deals with the concept of nature conservation in large-scale and small-scale protected areas in Slovakia, assessment of selected anthropogenic influence, determining the limits in different ecosystems, hydrologic and water management functions in the country, the overall impact of land use on selected groups of organisms, the impact of weather conditions to phenological response of ecosystems, application of environmental education in practice or ecological carrying capacity of the country and the impact of human activities on it. The department regularly participates in national research projects and it also cooperates with the European Environmental Agency (EEA) on the long-term base, as well as with the Institute of Botany, Institute of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Sciences at the Masaryk University (Czech Republic) and the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Department of Applied Ecology 3 Department of Biology and General Ecology 3 The department also has a long term partnership with the National Forest Centre in Zvolen, the Institute of Forest Ecology of Forestry, the Institute of Botany and Botanical garden of the Comenius University in Bratislava. Very close cooperation is with the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Environmental Agency. At last but not the least, a long cooperation is with the Spirala – a network of environmental education organizations where most of the activities of teachers and students are oriented to practice (e.g. projects on global education, innovative approaches to education, creating environmental education programs for elementary and secondary schools and many others).
The Department of Applied Ecology is one of the leading departments of the Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the point of view of publishing, projecting and pedagogical activities.
Where can you find us? The main building of the University, 2nd floor, block C.