LUCA - Land Use, Ecosystem Services and Human Welfare in Central Asia - is a postgraduate program for young scientists from Central Asia. Starting from 2010 it is building a platform for joint analysis of land use conditions in Central Asia in relation to causing factors involving participants from different countries of Central Asia and scientific partners in Germany. It aims at training young scientists from Central Asia on topics concerning the intrinsic interaction of people and their environment in vulnerable regions of Central Asia. The LUCA program is embedded into a network of research and education of the Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU) and research units at Giessen University (e.g. SFB 299) as well as the Central Asian Global Change Observatory of the GeoForschungsZentrumPotsdam (GFZ).
Sub-project SP3 involves the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as the home institution of the PhD student and the Remote Sensing Section of the GFZ Potsdam as the partner institution. Research is dealing with remote sensing analysis of natural hazards and their effects on land use and land cover in the Kyrgyz Republic with focus on using differential radar interferometry (D-InSAR) for quantitative characterization of deformation of the earth's surface related to earthquakes and landslides.