The Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) is an interfaculty institute of the University of Geneva, established officially in March 2009. Five of the University’s faculties are involved in the Institute’s activities: the Faculty of Science, the Geneva School of Social Sciences, the Geneva School of Economics and Management, the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine.
The main functions of the ISE are research and teaching in the many interconnected fields relating to the environment. The Institute’s chief areas of interest cover climate, biodiversity, cities and regions, energy, and water, as well as links between and beyond these fields. Its key objective in terms of teaching programmes and research activities is to build bridges between the natural environment and the human environment, in the aim of finding a common solution to complex problems that cannot be tackled by one discipline alone. Meeting this objective requires a deeper understanding of the basic functioning of the physical, biological and chemical processes that underlie the Earth system, the protection of natural resources, social welfare and health, sustainable energy use and an effective interface between the scientific and the political.
The ISE is structured around four Research Hubs, reflecting its ties to the Faculties that support the Institute. Numerous research groups interact within and between these Hubs, aiming to break down traditional disciplinary barriers. In addition, members of each Hub contribute to the University’s Masters degree programmes managed by the Institute.