The Swiss Polar Institute (SPI) is delighted to announce that the University of Zurich (UZH) will become a new member and funder of SPI from 1 January 2021. This development in the governance of the institute shows the increasing interest in polar and remote high-altitude research. Counting this new active member, the SPI will reinforce its activities and services dedicated to the Swiss polar science community such as calls for proposals, health and safety training, events and workshops.

“Since a number of years we have, at UZH, already established activities in polar research and were involved in some activities of the SPI, but our research in polar regions was for smaller groups as us always challenging. UZH becoming an official member of the SPI gives another boost to polar research at our institution, and will also push and ease collaboration and exchange within the Swiss polar science community. Given the ongoing rapid changes in polar regions, it is important to give polar research here at UZH more weight and strengthen it and crucially to be more formally involved in shaping the future of polar science in Switzerland.  I am looking forward to be part of and work with SPI.” says Andreas Vieli, Professor at the Department of Geography of UZH.

“I see great potential in the joining of the University of Zurich as a member of SPI on both sides. UZH is Switzerland’s largest university with some 100 different subjects. UZH can strongly contribute to the interdisciplinary vision of the SPI in support of a sustainable development of the Arctic, and for addressing complex research questions in the Antarctic and remote high-altitude systems. On the other hand, the SPI provides significant logistical and financial support for researchers in these challenging environments, from early career scientists to professors, and fosters the collaboration across the Swiss and international polar science network. I look forward to close collaboration with SPI and all involved partners.” adds Prof. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, from the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies of UZH and Chair of the SPI Science and Technology Advisory Board.

The Swiss Polar Institute supports science in polar and remote high-altitude regions by supplying specialised services. It acts as a focal point for the Swiss polar community through the organisation of scientific expeditions and customised funding for logistics and field work. The SPI also supports public outreach activities towards the Swiss public and works in partnerships with cultural organisations in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the regulating mechanisms and impacts of polar regions.