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OSUG - Terre Univers Environnement

Presentation of the Institute

by Administrateur - 4 March 2014 ( maj : 11 January 2017 )

The Institute for Geosciences and Environmental research (IGE) is a public research laboratory in Earth and Environmental Sciences, created on 1 January 2017 by the merge of LGGE (Laboratory of Glaciology and Geophysics of the Environment) and LTHE (Laboratory of Transfers in Hydrology and Environment). The IGE is a joint research unit supervised by CNRS / INSU, IRD, Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA) and Grenoble-INP. The IGE is one of the main laboratories of the Grenoble Observatory (OSUG) which is a federative body of INSU.

The staff of the laboratory is around 240 people, of whom 145 permanent members (researchers, lecturers and professors, engineers, technicians and administrative staff) and about 95 doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and staff on fixed-term contracts. The laboratory also hosts several dozens of trainees and scientific visitors each year. The laboratory is located on three sites of the University Campus of Grenoble (sites Molière, OSUG-B, and Bergès).

Scientific themes

IGE conducts research on climate, the water cycle, cryosphere and natural and anthropized environments. This research aims to better understand the processes that govern the various geophysical compartments (ocean, atmosphere physics and chemistry, cryosphere, watersheds, critical zone), their interactions and responses to human pressures, and the processes of adaptation and resilience of societies.
Our research is developed within the framework of international scientific programs (CLIVAR, CLIC, CORDEX, GEWEX, Future Earth … ) and contribute to the expertise needed for IPCC reporting activities (several IGE members regularly contribute to IPCC reports). IGE is directly involved in several large-scale European or international initiatives (LTER / LTSER, ACTRIS, ENVRI +) aimed at networking observation data. Further, IGE is expected to play an increasing role in the development of European services for Environment and Climate Monitoring (Copernicus program).
The main themes defining the scientific identity of IGE are:
• The past and present evolution of the composition of the atmosphere and the feedback between atmospheric chemistry and climate;
• The role of polar areas in the functioning of the climate system;
• Study of glaciers and mountain hydro-glacio-meteorological processes;
• Multiscale circulation in the ocean, biogeochemical transport and exchanges between the ocean and related environments;
• Processes and vulnerability of the Critical Zone for better management and protection of the resource and the environment;
• The intensification of the hydrological cycle and its interactions with societies.
To carry out this research, the IGE approach is based on a strategy combining observation (field observations, national observation services, space missions), instrumental development and modelling. This strategy relies on three transverse axes (Spatial Observations and Remote Sensing; Modeling; Instrumentation, Measurements and Analyses).

Research Fields

One main strength of IGE is reflected by the diversity of the geographical zones under investigation, which require the establishment of long-term observing systems to monitor and understand processes related to global changes, their interfaces and interactions. Our major research fields are the Alps, the polar regions, the global ocean and inter-tropical zones. For the latter, a key motivation is to address scientific questions related to sustainable development, as defined in the IRD geostrategic priorities.
Each year, laboratory staff perform missions of several weeks to several months in polar regions (with the support of IPEV) and regularly participate in field campaigns with cooperating organizations. In addition, some ten members of the laboratory are on long-term assignments or carry out long-term missions in West Africa (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire), South America (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador) and in South-East Asia (Vietnam, Nepal), in the framework of projects developed with riparian organizations.

Involvement in national observing systems and platforms

Through the Grenoble Observatory, IGE runs several national observation services and is involved in modelling and instrumental platforms labelled by INSU, in particular:
OHMCV (Mediterranean Hydrometeorological Observatory Cévennes-Vivarais)
GLACIOCLIM (GLAciers: a CLIMAT Observatory)
AMMA-Catch (Long-term hydrological, ecological and meteorological observatory in West Africa)
CLAP (CLimate relevant Aerosols from near surface observations)
• Nucleus for European Model of the Ocean (NEMO) modeling platform
C2FN (Core Drilling National Center).

Participation in teaching

IGE lectures and researchers are involved in the teaching of five components of the UGA (Physics-Engineering-Earth-Environment-Mechanics (PhITEM), Institute of Alpine Geography (IGA), IUT, Polytech and the Bachelor Degree in Science and Technology (DLST)), as well as an engineering school at Grenoble INP (Energie - Eau - Environnement (ENSE3)). The laboratory is affiliated with the Earth-Universe-Environment (TUE) and Engineering (IMEP-2) doctoral schools. Scientific staff of the IGE are highly mobilized by high-level international training, given both in the framework of universities and through thematic schools (ie ERCA, Water and Society; Operational Oceanography). IGE is strongly involved in the dissemination of knowledge and science towards the general public, and actively participates in academic networks.

Governance and organization

IGE is led by a Director, Pierre Brasseur (Senior Researcher at CNRS), assisted by four Deputy-Directors: Sandrine Anquetin (Senior Researcher at CNRS), Marc Descloitres (Research Engineer at IRD), Gaël Durand (Researcher at CNRS ) and Jean-Luc Jaffrezo (Senior Researcher at CNRS). The IGE is structured around eight research teams, a technical department, an information systems department and an administrative department. The IGE governance also relies on a laboratory council, a scientific steering committee, and several project managers (doctoral schools, training, prevention and safety, sustainable development and communication).