A key challenge for ITES is to provide knowledge that ensures the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and natural resources in the face of continuous changes in society, economy and the environment. Forested landscapes play an important role in this regard, as they are the source of fibre and food for billions of people worldwide, they influence global biogeochemical cycles, they have significant feedbacks on the global climate system and they are important for global biodiversity. In the context of mountain systems, the protection from gravitational natural hazards is a key concern, as it affects both mountain livelihoods as well as downstream communities via mass flows.
ITES is offering modern education in Forest and Landscape Science in the framework of the Environmental Sciences curriculum that blends tradition with innovation. At the BSc level the ITES professorships are primarily involved in the specializations "Forests and Landscapes". At the MSc level the ITES staff is leading the major Forest and Landscape Management. In addition, we contribute substantially to teaching in other D-USYS majors, in particular those in Ecology & Evolution and Biogeochemistry & Pollutant Dynamics, and we are also involved in the Environmental Engineering curriculum.