The Institute of Earth Sciences is a historical research and education institution, integrated in the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland and mainly involved in activities strictly related to the territory, its environment and characteristics. As the terms of the different areas of research suggest, studies at the institutes are diversified, although of common interest. The flexibility and interdisciplinary are in fact some of the most vibrant characteristics being developed.

In its assortment of views, the institute also tries to find the right balance between the realities of regional and international dimensions.
For geographical and historical reasons, the Canton Ticino has always been a meeting point of different cultural and linguistic regions, typically from Switzerland and Italy.

All areas of research also make use of precious partnerships with universities and other research institutes and often several projects are addressed within international programs, involving also numerous topics.

The concept of "applied research" makes the role of the institute particular, whether it is the development of new courses for teaching or for the delivery of services. The developed projects need to be practical applicable and their intent to ensure a future sustainable development, as far as possible.

Projects commenced at the Institute of Earth Sciences are the outcome of the work of teachers, technicians and qualified teams.