Landscape and Conservation Social Sciences

In our research group, we engage with the social dimensions of nature(s) and landscapes. We work at the intersection of science and practice and are interested in perceptions, processes, and arguments related to nature conservation, landscape planning, and sustainable development. We analyze the various perceptions and justifications that influence socio-political negotiations over nature and landscapes and explore the influence of values, emotions, and senses of justice on decision making processes in nature conservation. Whereas we place our work in the realm of Political Ecology and Environmental Justice, we collaborate in inter- and transdisciplinary projects and employ approaches and methods from other fields. 
Our research focuses on Switzerland and other mountainous countries. 

Group leader

Dr. Annina Michel

Group members

Dr. Roger Keller (Senior Scientist)
Timo Oliveri (Research Assistant)
Pierre Perréaz (Research Assistant)
Rebecca Schneiter (MSc Student)
Gvantsa Salukvadze (affiliated PhD Student)

Former group members

Dr. Timothy Tait-Jamieson
Dr. Sarah Hartmann 

Belongs to the organizational unit

Space, Nature and Society

Current Projects

ValPar.CH - Values of the ecological infrastructure in Swiss parks

Commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), 10/2020-12/2023 
Within this inter- and transdisciplinary research project, we assess the social values of the ecological infrastructure (EI) and ecosystem services in regional nature parks in Switzerland. More ... 

Where Georgia and Switzerland meet: Sustainable development in mountain areas

Project supported by a Seed Funding Grant of the Swiss Leading House for Science & Technology Cooperation, University of Geneva, as part of the Swiss Bilateral Cooperation Programme of SERI. 
Within this project, we create a new modular Bachelor course that will be simultaneously held at GIUZ and Tbilisi State University, starting in fall semester 2022. 

MTA: An online platform for cross-border student collaboration and learning

Supported by the UZH competitive teaching fund
MTA aims to integrate a novel smartphone app into a course to facilitate cross-country student collaboration and students' fieldwork projects in Georgia and Switzerland. More ...  

Landscape Services in Landscapes of National Importance

In this project, we are demonstrating the importance of landscapes of national importance for human well-being. 
www.landschaftsleistungen.ch (DE)
https://www.prestationspaysagères.ch (FR)

Landscape knowledge in brief 

Within this project, we developed principles for prospective teachers to foster differentiated understandings of landscapes. 
www.landschaftswissen.ch (DE)
www.penser-le-paysage.ch (FR)