The Field Research Centre at the village of Lazy is part of the Jagiellonian University's Institute of Geography. The Centre began operations in 1986 but only took on its modern form in 1993.
More about the location
Lazy (pronounced Wah-zee) village, situated on the northern edge of the Carpathian Foothills, lies just 40 km east of Cracow - the historical and cultural capital of Poland, 20 km east of the famous seven-hundred-year-old salt mine of Wieliczka, and 35 km west of the historical township of Tarnow (map). The rolling hills of the region border the mountain landscapes of the Carpathians to the South and the Vistula River plains to the North.
What's the Centre for?
The Carpathian Foothills form an important agricultural zone. For this reason we need to be able to tell the extent to which the environment of this marginal zone of the Carpathians suffers from local, mainly agricultural, contaminants and external, mostly industrial, sources of pollution. These sources are located in the coal mining region of Silesia, Cracow's Nowa Huta steel complex, Tarnow's chemical industry and others. Research work at the Centre is thus environmentally oriented and is of an interdisciplinary character. Besides the environmental issues there is also a vast area of economic, social and cultural studies to undertake and develop.
The second important objective of the Centre is professional training of geography students specializing in different areas of this discipline. First they learn in the field how to observe, survey and monitor different natural and anthropogenic phenomena. They also work in laboratories and participate in classroom discussions and presentations.
The Centre, with its aesthetically-pleasing and easily-accessible environs, is an attractive location for both Polish and foreign students to fulfil internship courses, and is an excellent stop site while on study tours and other academic trips.
What's inside the building?
The Centre is equipped with hydrochemical, soil and computer laboratories (PCs, digitizer, scanner, printers, plotter-printer, with a variety of editing software including GIS packages like ARC/INFO and Idrisi). There is also a conference room, reference library and map collection, the staff office and six other rooms. Shower facilities, two kitchens (one large, one small) and a dining-room complete the list.
The building is able to accommodate up to 23 people in comfortable conditions.
Field instrumentation for environmental monitoring includes: a meteorological station (part of the national network of such stations) with supporting meteo-posts, automatic groundwater and river gauges, installations for surface runoff measurements, an automatic precipitation collector for wet and dry deposition measurements and many others. Some of these instruments are test-prototypes.
The results of the research are published not only in the Institute's Geographical Papers (Prace Geograficzne Instytutu Geografii UJ) but also in other Polish and foreign journals.
Recent publications in English include:The Carpathian Foothills Marginal Zone - Man and Environment (W.Chelmicki - the editor), Prace Geograficzne IG UJ, 103, 1998 - the volume containing set of papers on natural and anthropogenic conditions for environmental degradation of the Carpathian Foothill area.
Research Field Centre at Lazy