Objectives and strategy
The Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) helps to sustainably combine existing competences at Heidelberg University in the area of environmental sciences. Going beyond the traditional boundaries of a specific subject or discipline, the HCE aims at providing academic solutions to existential challenges and ecological effects of natural, technological and societal changes on humans. [More...]
HCE is part of the successful institutional strategy (Excellence Initiative, Phase II)
All six proposals of Heidelberg University succeeded in the Excellence Initiative. The university’s institutional strategy, both clusters of excellence, as well as the three graduate schools will be funded in the second phase of the competition for excellence. HCE is part of the institutional strategy and has set up two interdisciplinary research groups.
About the HCE
The HCE brings together various departments and institutes at Heidelberg University. It is open to all members of the university who work in the area of environmental sciences. The HCE is headed by a board of directors, made up of university professors from each participating department or faculty. The managing director and the assistant directors are appointed by the members of the board, ensuring equal representation of the natural science, humanities and social science branches of the environmental sciences. The directors are responsible for managing the centre. The main office is in charge of administration and coordination, facilitates the exchange of information among the participating departments and faculties, organises events (for example, the “Heidelberg Bridge” colloquium) and carries out public relations work.
Main Fields of Research
Building on the intensive preliminary work, the Heidelberg Center for the Environment focuses on following fields of research:
- Environment and Society
- Health and Environment
- Climate Engineering: Risks, Challenges, Opportunities?
- Climate Culture Interactions
Furthermore, the HCE also acts as an incubator for additional research projects, cooperative projects, graduate schools etc. The objective is to continually build networks between any two of the key disciplines of natural sciences, social sciences and cultural studies.
Interdisciplinary and integrative cooperation
The complexity and cultural dependence of modern environmental problems goes beyond the analytical framework of any one single method or discipline. For this reason, the HCE employs a model of interdisciplinary and integrative cooperation. Heidelberg University is renowned, also at the international level, as a place where this overall view of the environment is developed and integrated into teaching methods and public discourse on the issue.