Research to protect the natural environment
The rapid growth of the world's population, the resulting intensified exploitation of our planet and its resources, and the increasing susceptibility of society to natural disasters all call for internationally coordinated action to preserve our environment, secure our natural resources and protect our planet. With its earth system research, the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ is making a contribution to meeting these great challenges.
As Germany's national research centre for geosciences, the GFZ conducts worldwide research on the "System Earth" - the geological, physical, chemical and biological processes in the earth's core and on its surface. Humans and the impact of human activities on the planet are part of the GFZ's research activities.
Expertise for global missions
More than 1000 staff, among them 350 scientists and 100 PhDs work together at the GFZ in all disciplines of the geosciences and related natural and engineering sciences. Their research aim is to develop strategies and possible courses of action, for example in order to secure and obtain natural resources in an sustainable way, prepare for natural disasters, assess climate and environmental developments and make use of underground areas. The GFZ has a number of different instrument pools for field missions and global measurement campaigns, a team of engineers for geoscientific equipment, and specialists ready for immediate deployment in the event of natural disasters. The global GEOFON earthquake alerts are among GFZ's most sought-after services.
GFZ as a partner in international collaborations
In order to strengthen national and international networks and cooperation, the GFZ is involved in numerous international research projects. It has the lead in the implementation of GITEWS (German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System), a project of the German Federal Government that is contributing to the reconstruction of the tsunami-affected areas in the Indian Ocean. It focuses on scientific procedures and innovative technologies for tsunami early warning systems. The GFZ also operates the satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), a collaborative project between the U.S. space agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) that aims to measure the earth's gravity field in high precision. The GFZ also initiated the projects DESIRE (DEad Sea Integrated REsearch Project) and ICDP (International Continental Scientific Drilling Program).