Center of research on alpine and extreme environments

Developed with the support of the Canton of Valais, ALPOLE is the second stage of the EPFL Valais Wallis Campus.
ALPOLE, an integral part of the Institute of Environmental Engineering (IIE) of ENAC, proposes a pole of excellence in alpine and extreme environments, with a critical mass, on a European scale.
The creation of ALPOLE demonstrates EPFL’s concern for climate change and Valais’ central position in observing the consequences of these changes, which will impact not only the environment but also the lives of inhabitants, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure.
A major challenge is, and will be, the understanding and prediction of climate-induced impacts on the environment, as well as adaptations to these impacts.
ALPOLE is composed of eight chairs, including a core of chairs directly related to climate change.


SPI-Swiss Polar Institute

Providing services to and promoting synergies within the polar and high-altitude community in Switzerland

The Swiss Polar Institute (SPI) offers tailored support to scientists based in Switzerland whose research is focused on polar regions and high-altitude environments. Dedicated funding schemes, information events, scientific workshops and conferences, health and safety courses, fieldwork training, expeditions, outreach and educational programmes, as well as international agreements and collaborations are part of SPI’s mission and portfolio of activities.

A foundation under Swiss law, the Swiss Polar Institute is recognised as a “research institution of national importance” by the Swiss Confederation. The following Swiss research institutions are members of the Foundation Board:

  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich)
  • University of Bern (UniBE)
  • University of Lausanne (UNIL)
  • University of Zurich (UZH)
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)