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Konrad Steffen re-elected as Director of the WSL

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Today, the Federal Council re-elected WSL Director Konrad Steffen until the end of June 2021. Steffen has held this office for almost eight years and has successfully developed the WSL during this time.


Under the leadership of Konrad Steffen, WSL has expanded its position in various areas of terrestrial environmental research. Joint professorships in landscape ecology and glaciology strengthen the link with ETH Zurich; a new joint professorship in terrestrial ecosystems that with EPF Lausanne. In order to investigate the condition and development of landscapes, forests, biodiversity, natural hazards, snow and ice and to solve socially relevant problems, Konrad Steffen particularly promotes the evaluation of long-term measurements. He will now continue to lead the WSL until the end of June 2021 at the latest, although he could already enjoy retirement. He will steer the institute through a challenging and exciting time: The ETH Board is planning to establish a new, large Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Research, for which the WSL is to become a supporting pillar.

Konrad Steffen studied natural sciences and received his doctorate from ETH Zurich in 1984. In 1990 he was appointed Professor of Climatology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA. There he later also headed the research institute CIRES. In 2011 he was elected Director of the WSL by the Federal Council, and since 2012 he has also been Professor for Climate and Cryosphere at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne. Konrad Steffen makes important scientific contributions. For example, he is an author of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. He is also a member of renowned national and international committees. He is scientific director of the Swiss Polar Institute, member of the scientific advisory board of Agroscope and delegate of Switzerland to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).