The prime purpose of the Institute of Earth Sciences is to develop earth sciences in the country, implement modern research methods in this direction, as well as create and introduce the most sophisticated scientific technologies and equipment. Multiple fields of the natural environment that is directly connected to Georgia’s sustainable development is dependent on earth sciences.
The top priority of the Institute of Earth Sciences is to ensure maximum involvement of the students of Ilia State University (ISU), as well as other higher education institutions of Georgia in the research process. The institute also aims to pass down to future generations the knowledge and experience acquired by scientists in the field of earth sciences and create any material and technical databases necessary for this purpose, as well as improve working conditions for the employees.
ISU actively cooperates with the Universities and Research Institutions of Europe, Asia and the U.S. Transferring modern and up-to-date methods and latest scientific achievements is one of the key prerequisites for proper planning and implementation of future research activities of the Institute of Earth Sciences.
The ISU Institute of Earth Sciences comprises the research, science and learning departments as follows: Seismic Monitoring Center and the Departments of Geology, Geography, Seismology, Engineering Seismology, Applied Geophysics, Geodesy and Computing and Software.
The Institute carries out local and global research in active tectonics and volcanism, climate changes, the earth ecosystem, biodiversity, raw materials and other resources of the planet, seismic dangers and risk assessment, formulation of norms for construction industry, as well as geophysical, geomorphological and geological sciences, which are applied in geological, geographic, engineering and archeological works, as well as other natural sciences and social sectors.
The Institute of Earth Sciences is also an organization operating Georgia’s National Seismic Network and the seismic database. In addition, the institute conducts geodetic observations and operates GPS Observation Network.
The objectives of the Institute are to:
1. Develop research of scientific/applied nature in the direction of earth sciences with utterly practical or fundamental scientific value;
2. Create material and technical basis in order to provide all the necessary conditions to gain academic education, as well as promote successful implementation of Master’s degree and Ph.D. programs in earth sciences and contribute to popularization of the fields of earth sciences in future generations by helping students get involved in the research process not only in fundamental scientific but also applied fields;
3. Be guided by Georgia’s interests and priorities, such as: the country’s safety, sustainable development and economic growth when choosing research and educational areas;
4. Maximally promote international cooperation, as well as the implementation of joint research and educational programs with similar foreign institutions.
5. Improve the quality of research and teaching by following the example of the leading universities and scientific centers of the world;
6. Facilitate the implementation of interdisciplinary research to ensure maximum involvement of specialists of different fields in different projects for the purposes of improving cooperation and communication between them.
The scientific fields of the Institute:
1. Conducts scientific-research and educational activities, consulting and expert service activities in different fields of earth sciences, as well as expands knowledge of the issues, such as the creation of the earth and other planets, their structure, development, as well as other planetary processes. Researching the aforementioned issues at the local and regional level is a priority;
2. Studies natural disasters, evaluates hazards and risks, namely, conducts permanent observations on earthquakes occurring in the territory of Georgia, evaluates seismic dangers and risks, operates seismic network, transfers data in the reasonable period of time, as well as implements early warning systems;
3. Provides timely (immediate) warning in case of strong earthquakes, as well as information regarding the scale of disasters to the population and government of the country and focuses on their competent appraisal;
4. Studies the structure of the earth at the global and local level, as well as active processes, tectonics or volcanism, and seeks and explores raw materials and other kinds of geological resources;
5. Studies the changing environment, as well as explores and carries out the modelling of an environment of a past geological age (paleoenvironment) and evaluates anthropogenic influence on the landscape and the environment in general not only in the past but also in the future.
6. Studies climate changes and hydropower and water resources, as well as glaciology and studies the effects of climate changes on the landscape and the issues of desiccation of populated and lush areas;
7. Holds geographical, geophysical and geological research into water areas of Georgia and studies the Black Sea water area, holds underwater research, studies the lakes of Georgia and conducts cadastral surveys;
8. Explores natural resources, geographical monuments, karsts and caves, as well as assesses tourist potential;
9. Creates and improves digital equipment necessary to conduct observations on seismic, geophysical and other zones;
10. Carries out engineering and geological research by using geophysical methods, monitors important engineering buildings, as well as studies the structure of soil through geophysical methods and contributes to construction of structures or buildings resistant to earthquakes.
11. Analyzes geographic information systems and aerospace pictures, introduces modern computer and satellite technologies and actively applies them in the earth exploration process.
12. Implements master’s degree and Ph.D. programs in earth sciences, as well as prepares and trains new scientific and technical personnel;
13. explores for alternative green energy resources on the earth, conducts interdisciplinary research into their evaluation and evaluats them.