At Switzerland’s first Centre for Applied Glaciology (ZAG), which was set up jointly by the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and Academia Engiadina on 1 January 2020, staff are working to tackle glaciological challenges. This joint initiative involved establishing the first university of applied sciences research centre in Switzerland to deal specifically with the area of “climate management in Alpine living environments”. The centre is co-managed by Prof. Imad Lifa and Dr Felix Keller of ETH Zurich. As a result, the area of expertise covered by the Institute for Construction in Alpine Regions (IBAR) is being expanded in cooperation with Academia Engiadina.
Ice deposits react particularly sensitively to climate change, which therefore poses particular glaciological challenges in Alpine living environments. Water management (glacial retreat, snowfall), climate-sensitive constructions (e.g. in permafrost) and events on frozen lakes (e.g. White Turf St. Moritz, the Engadin Skimarathon) are particularly affected by this, along with tourism in general. The research field of “Applied Glaciology” at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons is therefore looking into the glaciological and technical possibilities of preserving glaciers, safeguarding ski areas and winter sports events on frozen lakes, ensuring the supply of water to high Alpine infrastructure constructions (e.g. SAC huts), protecting buildings in Alpine permafrost and securing new innovative forms of tourism.
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