The University of Turin is not only one of the most ancient and prestigious Italian Universities, but also a dynamic centre open to international research and training. Today, the University of Turin is among the largest Universities in Italy and ranks first in terms of structures and services offered to students. It deals with present and future challenges with the strength coming from six hundred years of tradition and its modern resources. Hosting about 70.000 students, 4.000 academic, administrative and technical staff, 1800 post-graduate and post-doctoral students and with 120 buildings in different areas in Turin and in key places in Piedmont, the University of Turin can be considered as “city-within-a-city”, promoting culture and producing research, innovation, training and employment. The University of Turin is still strongly committed to dialogue between cultures and to the integration of science, culture and society.
The University of Turin boasts 6 major Schools and twenty-seven Departments, which cover almost all possible fields of knowledge, as well as three research Centers of Excellence. It carries out scientific research and organizes courses in all disciplines. Moreover, at the University of Turin environmental and territorial research are carried out with the support of the most advanced ICT tools, offering modern views on proactive management of natural and cultural resources.
The Earth Sciences Department (DST), the smallest of the University of Turin (50 faculty member and 25 PhD and PostDoc students), has a long lasting record of research, university teaching and dissemination of Earth Science knowledge. DST offers a correct comprehensive disciplinary character for approaching environmental studies: it enhances the geosciences contribution to the analysis of environmental issues of societal relevance, such as the evaluation of geo-resources and the protection from natural hazards. DST not only has been and currently is part of many national and international funded research projects, but also it addressed several scientific cultural initiatives to the general public by means of web-based initiatives (local partner for the International Year of Planet Earth - IYPE 2007-2009; “Science in the City” - ESOF2010 - Euro Science Open Forum 2010; web-based inventory of urban geosites www.museotorino.it; UniTO-Compagnia San Paolo grant “JCAPC 2011” on line B1-Experimental Sciences and Technology for the project “PROactive Management of GEOlogical Heritage in the PIEMONTE Region” www.progeopiemonte.it/en).
Within the Earth Sciences Department, the GeoSITLab (G.I.S. and geomatics laboratory) has been designed by the Physical Geography and Geomorphology Research Group (Geo/04) and equipped to perform digital geomorphological mapping, geomorphometric analysis from the simplest to the most complex 3D ground models, slope stability analysis, qualitative observation and inventory of landforms, precise quantification of geographical, meteo-climatic, geo-environmental variables, modelling of geological and geomorphological processes. GeoSITLab is currently developing its research through the use of innovative geomatics methodologies from remote sensing, digital photogrammetry, and ICT Systems, mobile-GIS equipment, with particular applications to the evaluation of the geodiversity of the alpine regions, geosites inventories, geoheritage protection and valorization, assessment of environmental and territorial hazards and risks (due to climate changes, urban development, landscape exploitation).
As relevant outputs of this research activities: a web-based geosites inventory of the Piemonte Region has been created in collaboration with the Natural History museum of the Piemonte Region; a geodatabases on natural instabilities of the Western Alps have been created; geomatics methodologies for fields survey and remote sensing studies have been developed. Here, with the contribution of the Computer Science department, the ImaGEO spin-off company of the University of Turin and the Open Resilience association, software and hardware will be made available for the research activities, including mobile-G.I.S., digital photogrammetric and laser scanning tools, and a web- and mobile-based system for collaborative management of data on geoheritage.