The CESR

The Center for Environmental Systems Research is an interdisciplinary research center of Kassel University. Founded in 1994 as scientific center, its work expanded more and more into the international arena.

The CESR forms an important part of the competence of Kassel University on issues of environment and sustainability. The center bundles research of systems-based applied sustainability science, coordinates projects and cooperates with various departments of the University as well as with partners in German, European and international institutions.

Professors are affiliated with different faculties and provides teaching in different bachelor and master courses.


The CESR studies Humans-Environment systems and the role of technologies and institutions in these systems. The focus is on problem analysis and solution scenarios for climate change and resource consumption. A comprehensive perspective and methods of system analysis allow to detect important drivers and unveil problem shifting. We want to better understand the functional relations between environment and society, and the causes of environmental and sustainability issues.

Main goals of the center:

  • Innovative research on environment and sustainability with a systems approach

  • Innovative teaching in environmental and sustainability sciences

Our approach is interdisciplinary and systemic. Because of that we use methods of systems analysis, such as global and regional modelling, agent-based modelling, the analysis of the socio-industrial metabolism and qualitative as well as quantitative scenario analysis. The research groups develop and use those methods on different scales.