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About us

Institute Natural Resource Sciences Goals and Vision

At a glance

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).

Our goal

Our goal is to preserve urban and rural areas as valuable habitats for people, animals and plants while at the same time maintaining them as economically productive locations. This requires an efficient and future-oriented use of resources as well as a transition to a more sustainable society. Circular solutions that use ecological engineering methods and the preservation of healthy ecosystems are prerequisites for this.

Through teaching and research, we help to develop and implement solutions to current problems. Close cooperation with other institutions as well as partners from business and government is important to us. This increases the social relevance of the issues we examine, and fosters innovative approaches and application-oriented solutions.

The IUNR – a beacon of sustainability


The IUNR is a beacon of sustainability within the Swiss research and educational landscape.


  • We promote and enable the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • We are committed to our teaching and research, with a focus on networking, feasibility and digitisation.
  • We provide answers to global challenges at the local level.

IUNR sustainability report (in German)

Our values

As pioneers of sustainable solutions, it is our goal to contribute to the future viability of our world. Our values are our compass:

  • Responsible action
  • Trustworthy cooperation
  • High quality work
  • Practice-oriented research
  • Authenticity

Our values (in German, PDF 719.6 KB)


The beginning of the Institute of Natural Resource Sciences

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”.

Part of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences

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.