Eight research areas represent the points of intersection between the core methodological and domain competencies. They cover human and natural environments. While research is being conducted in each of these areas, gaps as well as overlaps exist. All research areas are highly relevant for society. Within all research areas, both basic and applied research is carried out. Next to methodological developments and scientific achievements Z_GIS wants to contribute to a deeper understanding of the physical environment and the human society – and in particular the human-environment nexus.
The research shall allow for transparency of projects even in highly dynamic and complex fields. For instance, when climate change scenarios are applied and adaptation capacities and vulnerabilities are modelled, inter- and transdisciplinary methods and systemic thinking necessitates multiple user groups or views and targeted communication of results to different communities (domain- and scalewise). This is again a cross-cutting expertise – beyond the eight strategic research areas.