The alpine research unit at the University’s Center for Alpine Research in Obergurgl has been conducting scientific research in high alpine ecosystems since 1951. It is famous for the activities in the 1970s when Prof. Walter Moser conducted a large-scale UNESCO project within the “Man and Bioshpere” program. The surroundings of Obergurgl, especially the Rotmoos valley, are among the most thoroughly investigated areas in the alps.
Current research emphasis is placed on:
- Ecological recovery of areas formally covered by glaciers (in connection with “climate change”)
- Effects of grazing and ski slopes on high alpine vegetation
- Long-term monitoring of ecosystems in high alpine altitudes
- Monitoring of climatic and glacial development
- Archeology and history of human settlement
Ötztal Nature Park works closely with the University of Innsbruck to acquire funding for applied research. An overarching research plan has been developed. It is called “Zukunft – Forschung Ötztal 2020”. In connection with this, support is offered to students writing papers (e.g. master’s thesis, dissertation) or doing an internship in Ötztal Nature Park.