Three questions to the Director

What is the origin of the IGE project ?

Pierre Brasseur, Director of IGE

IGE is the result of a restructuring of Earth and environmental sciences in Grenoble, which began more than 4 years ago. Research on different compartments of the climate system (cryosphere, atmosphere, ocean, continental surfaces) and the water cycle was carried out in Grenoble by teams at the forefront of international research, but attached to several Grenoble laboratories, particularly LGGE, LTHE and LEGI. We have gradually brought together these various expertises within the same research institute, which now allows a more "systemic" study of the climate, the water cycle and anthropized environments. Today, the main forces in environmental geosciences in Grenoble are gathered within the IGE, although related research is also being carried out in other existing structures on the Grenoble Campus (such as IRSTEA and CEN/Météo-France) with which we will pursue close collaborations.

What are the main challenges for the IGE ?

One of the major challenges is to better understand the interactions of scales involved in the functioning of the climate system and the water cycle, in particular to better link the global scale with the local processes we observe in different regions of the Earth. It is important to understand how variations in climate, or the intensification of the hydrological cycle, are expressed at regional or even local levels, because it is at these scales that humans and societies perceive these variations and adapt their behavior. This is a key objective, in particular to make the link with human activities, the evolutions of societies and technologies. These aspects are also an area that we wish to develop at IGE, particularly in the context of societal challenges related to water resources, or renewable energies, which are highly dependent on environmental conditions and their fluctuations.

How do you plan to achieve these objectives ?

To remain at the forefront of the advance of knowledge and techniques, IGE wants to be a talent attractor in order to maintain at the best level the expertise and the strong international recognition of our teams, but also to evolve our know-how to new approaches. The objectives of IGE for the next 20 years will require new scientific and technological skills in fields that will evolve very quickly, taking into account, for example, the miniaturization of sensors, the multiplication of observation systems and the digital revolution, which will result in the deluge of new massive data. Another axis of our strategy will be to open collaborations with new partners, for example in the field of human and social sciences, but also with players in the socio-economic world that should make much benefit from our research.