Members of this Institute study the surface of the Earth from the perspectives of spatial differentiation and physical characteristics, as well as considering it as the space and site of human life and activity. Models and methods drawn from the natural sciences, economics, and social sciences form the basis for their work. The research profiles of the Institute’s four divisions – Physical Geography, Human Geography, Applied Geography, and Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics – show the Institute’s pronounced focus on assessing interactions between humankind and the environment.
The reconstruction of environmental changes is investigated as a key to a better understanding of current processes. Resource topics of global importance, such as the sustainable use of scarce resources (e.g., water), or the occurrence of natural disasters and the management of such risks, are based on this fundamental knowledge.
In parallel, current political, sociocultural, and economic developments and transformation processes are analyzed with a focus on marginalization processes and survival conditions.