IGAR

Institute of Geography - Romanian Academy

Research Activities. The Institute of Geography (IGAR) is the main institution of fundamental and applied geographical research in Romania. It carries out integrated research in Geomorphology, Hydrology, Biogeography, Climatology, GIS Systems, Human Geography and Environmental Geography focusing on investigating the relationships between the components of the physical and biotic environment (relief, water, soil, vegetation and fauna) and of the social and economic milieu, as well as their spatial distribution in connection with global environmental change. Its expertise in studying man-environment relations (GIS-based integrated studies of natural and technological hazards; integrated studies of community vulnerability to extreme events etc.) has materialised in national and international projects.
The Institute of Geography is involved in projects financed by the Romanian Academy, such as: The Environmental Geographical Atlas, programmes regarding studies of current geographical conditions of the Lower Danube Sector and of the Romanian Black Sea Coast and natural protected areas; Studies regarding the settlement systems in Romania in the context of sustainable development; Romanian financed and international projects (e.g. FP6, FP7).
The members of the Institute participate in a series of national and international interdisciplinary programmes, have membership in several I.G.U. commissions in the International Association of Hydrological Sciences and contribute to the activity of the National Committees for: the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), International Human Dimension Programme IHDP, International Hydrological Programme (IHP-UNESCO), the International Decade for Natural Disasters Reduction (IDNDR), Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), and are involved in national environmental protection projects, in the complex study of the Danube Delta, etc.

Teaching Activities. The Institute of Geography develops activities at Ph.D. level, having 6 doctoral supervisors who coordinate over 50 Ph.D. students.
The Institute of Geography hosts each year The International Summer School on Natural Hazards and Sustainable Development in Mountainous Regions at the Research Station in Patarlagele (ten editions up to now). The main topics approached in the school programme include issues related to following topics environmental hazards field assessment and mapping; human pressure on the environment and the impact of the natural hazards on the socio-economic systems; vulnerability of rural settlements at landslides and floods.

Brief Overview. The Institute of Geography was established in 1944 by the Ministry of National Culture and the Cults, on the initiative of Prof. Vintila Mihailescu. The then Geographical Research Institute of Romania, as its name was, had two branches, one in Cluj, the other in Iasi. In the beginning, it was staffed with members of the Geography Chair who took an interest in research. After 1952, the Institute would train its own specialists in various fields of geography. Between 1958 and 1974, it functioned as research institution of the Romanian Academy, one year later (1974-1975), becoming subordinated to the Ministry of Education and Instruction. In 1975, it passed under the administration of Bucharest University.
As from the 7th of February, 1990 it lists again in the structure of the Romanian Academy. In the course of time, the Institute of Geography numbered oustanding Romanian scientists among its members, e.g. academicians – Vintila Mihailescu, Virgil Ioanovici and Victor Tufescu; corresponding members – Tiberiu Morariu and N. Al. Radulescu, and remarkable researchers like Ion Conea, Raul Calinescu, Petre Cotet, Ion Gugiuman and Constantin Martiniuc. Today, the Institute´s scientific activity is coordinated by the Section of Geonomic Sciences of the Romanian Academy.

Targets:
• Elaboration and publication of synthesis works on Romania (treatises, atlases and regional studies);
• Development of fundamental and applied research into Physical Geography, Human Geography, Regional Geography and Environmental Geography;
• Promotion of integrated investigations and participation in interdisciplinary research contributing to the elaboration of regional development polices with a view to European integration. Focus: the study of economically disadvantaged regions, of critical environments and of cross-border areas;
• Integrated geographical research into natural and technological risks.

The Institute´s activity focuses on branch studies (1) and integrated studies (2):
1. Branch studies involve Physical Geography (geomorphology, climatology, hydrology and biogeography) and Human Geography (geography of population and settlements, political geography, geography of land use, geography of industry and services);
2. Integrated studies:
• Geographical studies on the environment at national level or by geographical units;
• Studies of natural and technological risks;
• Geographical studies for the elaboration of regional development policies;
• Applied geographical research under contract with various institutions (territorial planning, urban and rural development);
• Geographical studies correlated with global research programmes: International Geosphere – Biosphere Programme (IGBP), International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP).
Institute of Geography Romanian Academy