Environmental processes and dynamics encompass many aspects of physical systems on global, regional and local scales. Accelerating climate change alters hydrological processes and biogeochemical turnover rates, affect landscape dynamics and ecological systems. These changes impose fundamental research challenges and, as a consequence, increase the volume of spatial data. These changes are studied by the Institute of Geography in Erlangen from different research perspectives.
Research foci of the Physical Geography branch of the Institute of Geography are climate research, environmental studies, and geoinformatics, each with various sub-fields. Our institute is internationally recognized and involved in many international collaborative projects and has a special focus on high mountain regions (e.g., in the European Scandinavian Mountains, the Alps, the Andes, High Asia and the Himalayas, East Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean), but also on polar regions and drylands. Besides, we are active in various projects inside Germany and the province of Bavaria. A strong link exists to Cultural Geography via the research field society-environment-interactions.
The institute has excellent research facilities in electronic data processing systems and laboratories which are intensively involved in student training to warrant a modern, practical, and applied education. In detail, the institute disposes of a soil and sedimentary lab, adendroecological lab, and a stable isotope lab. In climatology, you are trained in various meteorological measurement techniques and climate modelling, and in the field ofGIS and remote sensing, you learn advanced methods of special functions, concepts, and implementation of modelling algorithms.