Our approaches

The C-CIA team is actively developing climate and process reconstructions across the Anthropocene, and the analysis of baseline data for adaptation and mitigation studies. Specifically, we aim at:

  • Advancing scientific understanding of climate variability and change across the Anthropocene, and on how extreme climatic events and/or volcanism affect the well-being of societies;
  • Reconstructing and projecting the sensitivity of hydrologic, geomorphic or geologic processes (debris flows, earthquakes, floods, glacier lake outburst floods, landslides, rockfall, snow avalanches) to past, ongoing, and likely future climate change, as well as the risks they pose to potentially vulnerable communities;
  • Assessing impacts of climate change on human and natural systems in mountain environments across the hemispheres;


The above aims are reached by employing a suite of dedicated tools, mainly by:

  • Employing UAVs and remotely-sensed techniques to monitor short-term changes with high resolution in fragile environments;
  • Disentangling and/or unearthing natural and historical archives (contemporary Medieval texts, dendrochronology, geomorphology, hydrology).

Some of the projects realized by the C-CIA team are commissioned by national and international research funding agencies (such as the Swiss or US NSF, the British NERC, or the EU H2020 or Era.Net programs); others are by mandate of local, regional or (inter-)national environment or development agencies, and with tasks focusing on the:

  • Identification of climate-related information needs and areas of concern;
  • Development and delivery of targeted information and tools for resource managers, planners and policy makers;
  • Enhancement of community understanding and capacity to address climate impacts, risks, and responses through outreach and engagement.


We work on spatial scales ranging from local to continental, and over temporal scales from subdaily to millennial.