Project descriptions


PATRIMALP :  Development of an Integrated Interdisciplinary Cultural Heritage Science (2018-2022)

The main objective and challenge of Patrimalp is to develop a cross-disciplinary approach in order to get a better knowledge of the material cultural heritage in order to ensure its sustainability, valorization and diffusion in society.
Patrimalp is therefore part of the policy promoted by the European Council and the European
Parliament to enhance the value of cultural heritage by establishing for the first time in 2018 a
European Year of Cultural Heritage which, among other things, aims “to draw attention… to the
challenges it faces, in particular the impact of the digital switchover, environmental pressures and physical constraints on heritage sites and the trafficking of cultural property”.

Carried out by members of UGA laboratories, combining skills in human sciences, geosciences,
digital engineering, material sciences, in close connection with stakeholders of heritage and cultural life, curators and restorers, Patrimalp intends to develop of a new interdisciplinary science: Cultural Heritage Science. To succeed, Patrimalp proposes:

• to federate and structure an interdisciplinary scientific community within the UGA!
• to model innovative methods for heritage research!
• to set up high-level interdisciplinary training courses!
• to support policy action for heritage and cultural actions!
• to develop attractiveness and the international influence of UGA !
The scientific approach consists in a cross-discipline study of heritage objects (= artifact, ie. object from human hand) dated from the Neolithic period to the pre-industrial period, which are preserved in the West Alps and the Rhone Corridor. These objects, which are considered regarded as “Boundary objects”, (i.e., objects of scientific interest for each of the disciplines involved in the project) will be analyzed following a tripartite approach:

• An intrinsic analysis will allow reconstruction of all the stages that enabled their achievement
(materials, sources of supply, processes, know-how, models) as well as their transformation,
degradation/alteration up to the present day.
• An extrinsic analysis will replace these objects in their historical context of creation (natural,
socio-economic, cultural, symbolic environments) and will restore their history, as well as
possible up to the present time.
• Arestitution of the heritage object in its ancient and physical appearence will allow, with the
help of experiments in digital sciences

-to validate -or not -the results obtained by other disciplines
-to serve as a support for the conservation-restoration process
-to enhance the value of the artifact and promote its accessibility to the general public

Only lived and shared interdisciplinary will make it possible to reach this quality of results.

PhD offer :PhD-proposal-Patrimalp_Ziebelin_Chalmin

TRAJECTORIES :  Social-ecological trajectories of French alpine valleys under climate variability (2017-2021)

Mountain social-environmental systems (SES) host major economic activities, and in some alpine valleys increase population attracted to their natural resources and amenities. Mountain SES provide a disproportionate measure of critical ecosystem services to people living both in- and outside mountain regions, such as energy, water, food, protection from natural hazards, and multiple cultural ecosystem services (Huber et al. 2013; Körner et al. 2005). The provision of these services depends largely on land use, which itself is shaped by long-established interactions of humans with nature in SES (Rounsevell et al. 2012). Regarding the biophysical dimensions of global change, mountain regions world-wide, and the Alps in particular are already experiencing faster temperature change than the global average, precipitation regimes are uncertain and unlikely to experience increased variability, and serious hazards are expected to results in terms of natural risks (5th report of IPCC, 2013).

Within this general context, the French initiative, TRAJECTORIES, funded by IDEX University Grenoble Alpes aims at improving knowledge of interactions between human societies and environment. The project fits into the overarching scheme of co-constructing decision-making expertise with involved territorial actors in 3 French alpine valleys.

Based on transversal research integrated natural, geoscience, engineering, and human and social sciences, the project aims at promoting an emerging methodology based on:

– Observations of social, economic and environmental evolution; this issue strongly relies on a integrated vision of existing ZA-Alpes, SNO GLACLIOCLIM and Sentinel des Alpes observatories;

– Efforts to model coupled society-environment dynamics aiming at providing keys to both understand patterns and predict pattern inter-relations.

– Territorial assessment to connect locally structuring human activities with both the way these activities draw on their territory’s resources to metabolize them and turn them into sources of wealth, and the way this metabolization depreciates social and physical environment.

– Prospective scenarii built on an iterative mode, and which starting points are local decision-makers’ territorial projects, connecting with global institutional constraints (related to sustainable development goals). The overaching goal is to feed a dialogue among researchers and territorial actors with observation, models, and assessment in order to create likely territorial trajectories.

The presentation will introduce the structure as well as the main challenges of the 4-year TRAJECTORIES project.

KEYWORDS : Integrated observation and modeling systems, Socio-ecological trajectories

PhD offer : PhD-proposal-Trajectories_Ziebelin_Anquetin

MICAThe MICA project contributes to on-going efforts towards the establishment of a stakeholder tailored product, namely the “European Union Raw Materials Intelligence Capacity Platform” (EU-RMICP). To do so, the project team will conduct a careful analysis of stakeholder needs and undertake a review of existing data, methods and tools that provide intelligence on raw materials.


COIN : The Coordinated Online Information Network (COIN) is a geospatial-based program with semantic search capacity for support of Yukon’s natural resource licensing and allocation procedures. COIN is funded by Natural Resources Canada NRCan. COIN is designed to provide a seamless technical means for all parties interested in the adjudication of Yukon’s natural resources to readily access and assess relevant information regarding resource-related projects (e.g. energy, mining, etc…) within specific geographic regions. The lead project proponent for COIN is the Yukon Water Board (YWB) and will be conducted in cooperation with the Yukon Government Energy Mines and Resources (EMR). Technical support for the initiative will be supported and coordinated locally by Dr. Chad P. Gubala (technical consultant to the YWB and EMR), with collaborators from the University of Alberta Pr Rick Chalaturnyk and the Université de Grenoble Laboratoire d’Informatique LIG-STeamer.

MAP-EON : Modeling and Analytic tools for Publishing Environmental Observatory iNformation  development of advanced, knowledge-based tools to understand the evolution of the environmental impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic effects upon sensitive ecosystems. MAP-EON proposes to share and publish environmental data through the development and application of a semantic-based network system for the presentation and integration of environmental effects data and information. This approach is a web-based multi domain knowledge and inter-operable exchange network. In collaboration with Dr Marianne S.V Douglas, Queen’s University.

ACE : Aristotelian Class Explorer : classification and relations between concepts. Classification of instances and relations between concepts/instances of mining and geological data. The model describes how composition and spatio-temporal relations structure the representation of mining and geological data. The mining and geological data include : mineral deposit information, spatial information, geographical information and technical characteristics. In the project the characterization of these representations are introduced formally then the Aristotelian method of classification is used. In collaboration with : Pr David Poole UBC, Clinton Smyth GeoreferenceOnline.


BIOSTAND : Standardized protocol for Biodiversity monitoring at local and global-scale. In collaboration with Dr Eric Coissac Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine LECA.