The section Man and Environment – Highlands investigates glaciers, permafrost, hydrology and their reaction to climate change. The focus is on process studies and on the development of methods and models. The unique data conditions in the Alps (spatial density and long time series) allow the development and validation of globally applicable models (for mountain areas). Our activities include research into the dissolution processes of glaciers and their role within the current extreme glacier retreat, the development of models to calculate ice thickness within the ITMIX consortium and enhancements of snow measuring within the PluSnow project. All our research is based on multiannual basic programmes. A current focus is on investigating climate changes during the Holocene in the Alps using multiproxy data.