Studied economics at the Universities of Kiel and Freiburg i. Br.; doctorate (Dr.rer.pol., 1979) at the University of Freiburg i.Br. and habilitation (Dr.phil.habil., 1987) at the University of Hanover.

Co-founder and first Managing Director of the Öko-Institut Freiburg i.Br. (1977 to 1979), then Head of the Central Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Hanover (until 1993). At the beginning of the 1993/94 winter semester, he was appointed Professor of Ecology at the University of Lüneburg. From mid-1995 to October 2013, Professor of Environmental and Sustainability Communication and Head of the Institute for Environmental Communication, then Senior Professor of Sustainability Research at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

From 2005 to 2021 holder of the UNESCO Chair "Higher Education for Sustainable Development" at Leuphana University Lüneburg. In 2011 research stay at the University of Nottingham, 2019 visiting professor at the University of Latvia (Riga).

Main research interests: Sustainable development, (higher) education for sustainable development, sustainability communication; research and development projects, publications, lectures and expertises in this context.

Long-standing member of the Senate of Leuphana University Lüneburg, Vice President for Teaching and Research from 2004 to 2006. Voluntary work at national and international level, including with UNESCO and the German UNESCO Commission (DUK). Participation in various project and foundation advisory boards, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Altner-Combecher-Kohler Foundation in the Stifterverband.