The mission of the UFZ
Will our natural resource base be secure in the future? How will we interact with our environment in the future and what will the consequences be? Can we actually be prepared for global change? Scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ (founded in 1991) are looking for sustainable and comprehensive solutions that answer these questions.
Research work at the UFZ is concentrated on the terrestrial environment – on densely-populated urban and industrial areas, on agricultural landscapes and natural landscapes. Scientists at the UFZ are investigating future land-use scenarios, the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, the sustainable management of soil and water resources and the impact of chemicals on humans and the environment. It is only when such complex systems and processes are better understood (from the level of the individual organism to the regional scale) that we will be able to manage them better.
A prerequisite for this is an integrated environmental research that crosses disciplinary borders between the natural and social sciences and incorporates stakeholders from industry, politics and society. A balance is being sought between economic and societal development on the one hand and a sustainable use of our natural resources on the other.
The UFZ comprises of 1100 employees, of which 450 are scientists and 200 are PhD students at its premises in Leipzig, Halle/S. and Magdeburg. They conduct research on the following three core topics:
(1) „Land use, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services /Renewable Energies“,
(2) „Sustainable Water Resources Management“ and
(3) „Chemicals in the Environment / Environmental Health“.
Research at the UFZ is divided into 38 so-called Departments. The huge number of Departments highlights the range of specialist fields, expertise and diversity covered at the UFZ. The disciplinary Departments are organized into seven areas of specialization:
1. Environmental System Computation and Monitoring
2. Water and Soil Sciences
3. Terrestrial Ecology
4. Environmental Technology
5. Environmental Health
6. Health Research
7. Social Sciences