Research unit Potsdam

The Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute has been operating since 1992. Establishment of the scientific working groups followed a recommendation by the Federal Government’s Science Council with the goal of continuation of the scientific potential of the former GDR's polar research. The research unit includes the two working groups Atmospheric Research and Periglacial Research.

Together with the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and part of the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam (AIP), the Potsdam Research Unit constitutes the science campus ‘Albert Einstein’. Within this framework, the efforts of AWI scientists are complemented by the methodological approaches of the GFZ, and the climate and climate change effect research of the PIK. The AWI specifically contributes its expertise in decoding natural climate variation of the past 10,000 years and in the modelling of atmospheric processes.

The completion of the new laboratory building of the research unit in 1999 provided the basis for a successful continuation of the scientific work. The joint utilisation of the central facility by AWI, GFZ and PIK, and the establishment of a joint library create the foundation for a true science centre.

The Research Unit Potsdam collaborates closely with universities - and other research institutions in Brandenburg and other federal states in Germany. It cooperates with the Technische Universität Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the University of Potsdam. Especially the close partnership with the University of Potsdam, intensified through a cooperation contract and joint professorial appointments, is of high significance for both institutions. It enables close collaboration for both scientists and students.