Core objectives and history of the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences
The Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR) is part of the School of Life Sciences und Facility Management at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Wädenswil, and employs 210 teaching and research staff at its three locations in Wädenswil, on the Au peninsula and in Wergenstein. Over 600 students are currently registered on the Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Sciences.
From autumn 2017 the IUNR offers a new consecutive Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources. Around 1000 people attend the IUNR’s broad range of continuing education courses each year. IUNR is currently involved in over 300 research and service provision projects, and generates revenues of more than CHF 29 million (75% from teaching and continuing education and 25% from research).
The goal of the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences is to preserve urban and rural settings as habitat and recreational areas and resource production sites, with an emphasis firstly on the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources and secondly on the conservation of landscapes as natural habitats. Within this thematic framework, the Institute carries out teaching activities and application-driven research in order to promote innovation and real-life implementation, frequently in collaboration with other institutions and industry or governmental partners.
The Institute of Natural Resource Sciences started off as the Swiss Technical School for Fruit Processing Wädenswil. It was founded in 1942 by the Swiss Fruit Association. In 1970 the Technical School, in the meantime part of the School of Engineering Wädenswil (ISW), was rewarded the state title “Institute of Higher Technical Education”. In the 90ies the ISW became the University of Wädenswil. Due to the Bologna Declaration in 1999, the degree programme in “Fruit Growing, Viticulture and Horticulture” was redesigned and given the shortened title of “Horticulture”.
In 2004 the name of the Bachelor's degree programme was changed into «Natural Resource Sciences», reflecting the changed focus, namely the shift away from agriculture to the landscape with its diverse functions. In 2007 the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (formerly a department) joined the School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, which is part of the newly founded Zurich University of Applied Sciences. Since autumn 2017 graduates of the BSc course are able to complete an MSc in Environment and Natural Resources.