Geoinformation in Environmental Planning

Dr. Michael Förster

Head of vegetation remote sensing

Employment and academic vita

2018Visiting Scientist at the Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra, Italy (Bioeconomy Unit)
2012Visiting Scientist at the University Utrecht, Netherlands (Department of Physical Geography)
2010Visiting Scientist at the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC), Italy (Institute for Applied Remote Sensing)
since Jan. 2009Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
2003 - 2008Research Scientist
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
2001 - 2003Consultant and GIS-Coordinator
Environmental Consulting and Planning Agency - Froelich & Sporbeck, Potsdam, Germany
1998/99Exchange Student
(ERASMUS) at University of Southampton, UK
1996 - 2003Studies of Geoecology
at Universität Potsdam, Germany
1975born in Burgstädt, Saxony

Research Topics

Development of methods to analyse the dynamics of ecosystems from time-series (optical and SAR), especially for degradation processes or abrupt damages (e.g. caused by fire or storms)
Relation of temporal and spectral signals to plant traits and biophysical variables (xantophyll, nitrogen, chlorophyll and fluorescence)
Derivation of operationalizable and comprehensive environmental indicators that are needed for the effective implementation of management measures (e.g. within the framework of the European NATURA 2000 requirements) or for a better understanding of ecosystems
Interaction of vegetation structure, which can be measured with LiDAR or SAR, with spectral information for the evaluation of forest properties
Combining spatially very high resolution data (drones) with satellite data to understand ecohydrological processes and especially to derive hydrological variables such as soil moisture content or interception

Contact Information

Phone+49 30 314-72798
RoomEB 236B
Office hoursby arrangement

Publication List


LEHMLER, S.; Michael, Förster; Frick, A
Modelling green volume using Sentinel-1,-2, PALSAR-2 satellite data and machine learning for urban and semi-urban areas in Germany
Environmental Management, 72, Issue 3, September 2023 :657–670
May 2023
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2023
Ahlswede, Steve; Schulz, Christian; Gava, Christiano; Helber, Patrick; Bischke, Benjamin; Michael, Förster; Arias, Florencia; Hees, Jörn; Demir, Begüm; Kleinschmit, B
TreeSatAI Benchmark Archive: A multi-sensor, multi-label dataset for tree species classification in remote sensing
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
February 2023
König, Simon; Thonfeld, Frank; Michael, Förster; Dubovyk, Olena; Marco, Heurich
Assessing Combinations of Landsat, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 Time series for Detecting Bark Beetle Infestations
GIScience & Remote Sensing, 60, Issue 1 (2023)
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)
Sorbe, Frederic; Gränzig, Tobias; Michael, Förster
Evaluating sampling bias correction methods for invasive species distribution modeling in Maxent
Ecological Informatics, Volume 76, September 2023, 102124
Publisher: Elsevier/ ScienceDirect


Schulz, Christian; Ahlswede, Steve; Gava, Christiano; Helber, Patrick; Bischke, Benjamin; Arias, Florencia; Michael, Förster; Hees, Jörn; Demir, Begüm; Kleinschmit, Birgit
TreeSatAI Benchmark Archive for Deep Learning in Forest Applications [Data set]
from Zenodo digital data repository (1.0.0)
August 2022
Döpper, Veronika; Rocha, Alby Duarte; Berger, Katja; Gränzig, Tobias; Verrelst, Jochem; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael
Estimating soil moisture content under grassland with hyperspectral data using radiative transfer modelling and machine learning
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 110 :102817
ISSN: 1569-8432
Schulz, Christian; Förster, Michael; Vulova, Stenka; Gränzig, Tobias; Kleinschmit, Birgit
Exploring the Temporal Fingerprints of Mid-European Forest Types from Sentinel-1 RVI and Sentinel-2 NDVI Time Series
IGARSS 2022 - 2022 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Page 5563-5566
Döpper, Veronika; Jagdhuber, Thomas; Holtgrave, Ann-Kathrin; Heistermann, Maik; Francke, Till; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael
Following the cosmic-ray-neutron-sensing-based soil moisture under grassland and forest: Exploring the potential of optical and SAR remote sensing
Science of Remote Sensing, 5 :100056
ISSN: 2666-0172
Rocha, Alby Duarte; Vulova, Stenka; Meier, Fred; Förster, Michael; Kleinschmit, Birgit
Mapping evapotranspirative and radiative cooling services in an urban environment
Sustainable Cities and Society, 85 :104051
ISSN: 2210-6707
Di Fiore, Luca; Brunetti, Michele; Baliva, Michele; Förster, Michael; Heinrich, Ingo; Piovesan, Gianluca; Di Filippo, Alfredo
Modelling Fagus sylvatica stem growth along a wide thermal gradient in Italy by incorporating dendroclimatic classification and land surface phenology metrics
International Journal of Biometeorology :1–16
Publisher: Springer
Rocha, Alby Duarte; Vulova, Stenka; Tol, Christiaan van der; Förster, Michael; Kleinschmit, Birgit
Modelling hourly evapotranspiration in urban environments with SCOPE using open remote sensing and meteorological data
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26 (4) :1111-1129
ISSN: 1027-5606
Berger, Katja; Machwitz, Miriam; Kycko, Marlena; Kefauver, Shawn C.; Wittenberghe, Shari Van; Gerhards, Max; Verrelst, Jochem; Atzberger, Clement; Tol, Christiaan; Damm, Alexander; Rascher, Uwe; Herrmann, Ittai; Paz, Veronica Sobejano; Fahrner, Sven; Pieruschka, Roland; Prikaziuk, Egor; Buchaillot, Ma. Luisa; Halabuk, Andrej; Celesti, Marco; Koren, Gerbrand; Gormus, Esra Tunc; Rossini, Micol; Förster, Michael; Siegmann, Bastian; Abdelbaki, Asmaa; Tagliabue, Giulia; Hank, Tobias; Darvishzadeh, Roshanak; Aasen, Helge; Garcia, Monica; Pôças, Isabel; Bandopadhyay, Subhajit; Sulis, Mauro; Tomelleri, Enrico; Rozenstein, Offer; Filchev, Lachezar; Stancile, Gheorghe; Schlerf, Martin
Multi-sensor spectral synergies for crop stress detection and monitoring in the optical domain: A review
Remote Sensing of Environment, 280 :113198
ISSN: 0034-4257


Döpper, Veronika; Rocha, Alby Duarte; Gränzig, Tobias; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael
Using radiative transfer models for mapping soil moisture content under grassland with UAS-borne hyperspectral data
Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XXIII, 11856 :208-214
Gränzig, Tobias; Fassnacht, Fabian Ewald; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael
Mapping the fractional coverage of the invasive shrub Ulex europaeus with multi-temporal Sentinel-2 imagery utilizing UAV orthoimages and a new spatial optimization approach
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 96 :102281-0
Rocchini, Duccio; Salvatori, Nicole; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Chiarucci, Alessandro; Boissieu, Florian de; Förster, Michael; Garzon-Lopez, Carol X.; Gillespie, Thomas W.; Hauffe, Heidi C.; He, Kate S.; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Lenoir, Jonathan; Malavasi, Marco; Moudrý, Vítĕzslav; Nagendra, Harini; Payne, Davnah; Šímová, Petra; Torresani, Michele; Wegmann, Martin; Féret, Jean-Baptiste
From local spectral species to global spectral communities: A benchmark for ecosystem diversity estimate by remote sensing
Ecological Informatics, 61 :101195-101195
ISSN: 1574-9541


Fersch, Benjamin; Francke, Till; Heistermann, Maik; Schrön, Martin; Döpper, Veronika; Jakobi, Jannis; Baroni, Gabriele; Blume, Theresa; Bogena, Heye; Budach, Christian; Gränzig, Tobias; Förster, Michael; Güntner, Andreas; Franssen, Harrie-Jan Hendricks; Kasner, Mandy; Köhli, Markus; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Kunstmann, Harald; Patil, Amol; Rasche, Daniel; Scheiffele, Lena M.; Schmidt, Ulrich; Szulc-Seyfried, Sandra; Weimar, Jannis; Zacharias, Steffen; Zreda, Marek; Heber, Bernd; Kiese, Ralf; Mares, Vladimir; Mollenhauer, Hannes; Völksch, Ingo; Oswald, Sascha E.
A dense network of cosmic-ray neutron sensors for soil moisture observation in a highly instrumented pre-Alpine headwater catchment in Germany
Earth System Science Data, 12 (3) :2289-2309
ISSN: 1866-3508
Döpper, Veronika; Gränzig, Tobias; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael
Challenges in UAS-Based TIR Imagery Processing: Image Alignment and Uncertainty Quantification
Remote Sensing, 12 (10) :1552-0
ISSN: 2072-4292
Fenske, Kristin; Feilhauer, Hannes; Förster, Michael; Stellmes, Marion; Waske, Björn
Hierarchical classification with subsequent aggregation of heathland habitats using an intra-annual RapidEye time-series
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 87 :102036-0
ISSN: 0303-2434


Kattenborn, Teja; Lopatin, Javier; Förster, Michael; Braun, Andreas; Fassnacht, Fabian Ewald
UAV data as alternative to field sampling to map woody invasive species based on combined Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data
Remote Sensing of Environment, 227 :61-73
ISSN: 0034-4257


Holtgrave, Ann-Kathrin; Förster, Michael; Greifeneder, Felix; Notarnicola, Claudia; Kleinschmit, Birgit
Estimation of Soil Moisture in Vegetation-Covered Floodplains with Sentinel-1 SAR Data Using Support Vector Regression
PFG – Journal Of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing And Geoinformation Science, 86 (2) :85-101
ISSN: 2512-2789
Klinke, Randolf; Kuechly, Helga U.; Frick, Annett; Förster, Michael; Schmidt, Tobias; Holtgrave, Ann-Kathrin; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Spengler, Daniel; Neumann, Carsten
Indicator-Based Soil Moisture Monitoring of Wetlands by Utilizing Sentinel and Landsat Remote Sensing Data
PFG – Journal Of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing And Geoinformation Science, 86 (2) :71-84
ISSN: 2512-2789
Schmidt, Johannes; Fassnacht, Fabian Ewald; Förster, Michael; Schmidtlein, Sebastian
Synergetic use of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 for assessments of heathland conservation status
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, 4 (3) :225-239
ISSN: 2056-3485


Schmidt, Johannes; Fassnacht, Fabian Ewald; Neff, Christophe; Lausch, Angela; Kleinschmit, Birgit; Förster, Michael; Schmidtlein, Sebastian
Adapting a Natura 2000 field guideline for a remote sensing-based assessment of heathland conservation status
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 60 :61-71
Möller, Markus; Gerstmann, Henning; Gao, Feng; Dahms, Thorsten; Förster, Michael
Coupling of phenological information and simulated vegetation index time series: Limitations and potentials for the assessment and monitoring of soil erosion risk
Catena, 150 :192-205
ISSN: 0341-8162


Gärtner, Philipp; Förster, Michael; Kleinschmit, Birgit
The benefit of synthetically generated RapidEye and Landsat 8 data fusion time series for riparian forest disturbance monitoring
Remote Sensing of Environment, 177 :237-247
ISSN: 0034-4257