Students at HNEE who are studying the Environmental Management 1 module in the Sustainable Economics department and have first-hand knowledge of the university's own environmental management system know a thing or two. For example, they know that certain parts of Eberswalde smell of fresh bread and even lavender, but all too often the dominant scent is that of exhaust fumes. Although the smells of Eberswalde are not vastly different from those of other towns and cities, soon you will be able to see them, too. "We want to use an interactive map to encourage people to really explore smells," explains Philip Gleibs who, with his fellow students, has already sniffed around Eberswalde extensively and incorporated the data into a digital map.
"But we'd be happy for more smells to be added," explains Pascal Herfort, also a student at HNEE, who wants the residents of Eberswalde to take part in the project, which has been dubbed "Smells like…". The project is part of the study module, which aims to bring to life the subject of environmental management at a local level. "It is conceivable that this could create scent routes through Eberswalde and, in the long term, the interactive map could be relevant for local tourism,” explains Dr. Thoralf Buller, who supervises the module as a lecturer at HNEE.
One side effect of the research for "Smells like…" also led to a further practical test: "We found that the smell of exhaust fumes was particularly strong near the town campus," says student Jan Hingst. As a result, plans have been considered to measure particulates, which could also be of interest to local companies. "Measuring emissions isn't rocket science. We want to do our own testing on the town campus with equipment we've put together ourselves. In the long term, this type of model could also be used by companies in Eberswalde to gather data in their environment," explains Buller, who sees the practical examples as the gateway to genuine, serious research. This approach ensures students can experience the moment of amazement, work empirically and develop a passion for the subject. "A pragmatic approach is always the right one, especially one like this with relatively minimal outlay. And one that is important for raising awareness of environmental issues. We want to deliver results that benefit society and its future development."