The German motto of the Actionday 2015 of our Research Focus – “Klimawandel trifft Alpinen Raum” – was ambiguous as Dr. Helmut Hojesky, speaker at our Actionday, nicely explained: „Climate change meets / hits Alpine Space“

In other words there are new opportunities as well as new risks expected from climate change in mountain regions around the globe – the better the regions adapt, the better chances might be seized and risks be reduced. The adaptation needs long term planning and depends on comprehensive knowledge form various disciplines. The gain of knowledge is the responsibility of the scientific community, particularly in the Alps with their unique research tradition and data availability.  Our Research Focus “Alpine Space – Man and Environment” at the University of Innsbruck is a perfect association of experts to deal with the complex issue of climate change in mountain regions – especially if specific expertise from the different disciplines is brought together.  

The overall motivation of the Actionday 2015 was to exchange information on personal research, to strengthen collaborations and social cohesion. Our invited speakers, Dr. Sebastian Helgenberger (Transdisciplinary Panel on Energy), MR Dr. Helmut Hojesky (Ministerium für ein lebenswertes Österreich) and Dr. Matthias Themeßl (Climate Change Center Austria) gave several interesting insights, e.g. how scientific knowledge enters policy and the public // how individual energy sources and energy demands develop regionally and globally // how the Climate Change Center Austria supports the climate (change) research(ers) and the exchange of knowledge between all relevant stakeholders. All scientists are invited to share their competences in the “Climate Change Knowledge Hub” (


After the stimulating talks 5 working groups were formed to discuss on individual, mainly interdisciplinary topics:

WG 1 Classifying, measuring and modelling mass, mass change & movements in Alpine environments

WG 2 Anthropogenic footprint in the Earth climate system and human (re)actions on Climate Change

WG 3 Challenges for and protection strategies of plants and microorganisms in Alpine climate (change) conditions

WG 4 Current topics regarding eco- and hydrological systems in Alpine environments with a focus on system interactions and system services e.g. GHG storage

WG 5 Alpine lakes, survey of water bodies and limnological aspects

 Besichtigung Messsysteme

Several members of the Research Focus also visited new and sophisticated measurement systems on the roof top (Bruno Sander Haus) explained by experts of the Research Center “Climate and Cryosphere”.

Finally the winners of the photo competition were honoured and received a weekend in the University Center of Obergurgl, traditional local products or highly energy efficient LED lamps.



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