Next Step : CAPE – Center for Changing Alpine and Polar Environments
EPFL, with support of the Canton of Valais, is creating the new CAPE research centre as part of an expansion of the EPFL Sion campus. CAPE is part of the Institute of Environmental Engineering (IIE), and will substantially expand the Institute’s research and teaching programmes.
The establishment of CAPE recognizes the global relevance of changes taking place in high-altitude and high-latitude environments, which are sentinels of climate change. The cascading effects go beyond natural to the built environments, e.g., agriculture, tourism, infrastructure planning and landscape management. A major challenge is, and will be, the understanding and prediction of climate-induced impacts on the environment, as well as adaptions to these impacts.
CAPE, which will be located in a dedicated building at Sion (completed in 2021), is built around 5 new professorships:
- Extreme Environments (open search underway, https://professeurs.epfl.ch/page-154749-en.html)
- Computational Environmental Science and Engineering (to be advertised in 2018)
- Catchment Science and Engineering (search to be opened in 2019-2020)
- Environmental Adaption (search to be opened in 2019-2020)
- Stream Biofilms and Ecosystems (Prof. T. Battin, https://sber.epfl.ch/)
Several research groups from cognate scientific disciplines within IIE will be co-located with CAPE at Sion, creating a large (around 200 people) and synergistic research effort on climate driven environmental changes and adaptions.