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Research Focus

Always in motion - The Research Focus "Earth and Environmental Systems"

The earth is subject to constant change: sometimes imperceptibly slow when oceans open or the proverbial steady drop levelles entire mountains, sometimes suddenly when volcanoes explode or earthquakes trigger huge floods and landslides. While many such processes are quite well understood in detail, their influence in the overall system is less well known. It is these intersystemic relationships that are investigated in the research focus "Earth and Environmental Systems".

The Institutes of Geosciences and the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography at the University of Potsdam focus together on questions about the interactions between the processes in the Earth system, which take place on different space and time scales. They aim to enable a profound understanding of the interaction of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, especially taking into account the influences of humans.

Building on Alexander von Humboldt's holistic view of the Earth system more than 200 years ago and the more than 150-year tradition of cutting-edge geoscientific research in Potsdam, the FSP has developed into a European centre of earth and environmental science in close cooperation with leading institutions in the region. These synergies make the University of Potsdam a location with unique study programmes, innovative research topics and excellent funding opportunities in the qualification phase.

In this environment, scientists of the research focus are involved in international research projects and new approaches to teaching. A Research Training Group funded by the German Research Foundation, exchange programmes for Bachelor's and Master's students and doctoral candidates as well as two Master's degree programmes in remote sensing as well as climate and environmental research offer the best conditions for modern, internationally oriented studies and the transfer of knowledge into practice.