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About the SLF

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The SLF is well known worldwide as a leading research institute in its field. Along with basic research, the SLF performs applied research and provides various services, such as the Avalanche Bulletin.


The SLF carries out advanced research while at the same time contributing to the resolution of urgent social issues, such as warning of natural hazards or analysing climatic and environmental changes in mountain areas.

Research for people and the environment

  • The SLF monitors and researches the condition, origin and evolution of natural hazards, snow, permafrost and mountain ecological systems.
  • The SLF develops concepts, strategies and specific measures to protect populations against natural hazards, in particular avalanches.
  • The SLF develops sustainable solutions for socially relevant issues, in collaboration with partners in the scientific and social sectors.

The SLF is part of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, making it part of the ETH domain.

Snow is one of the main interests of the SLF. Image:


The SLF research and service centre in Davos studies snow, the atmosphere, natural hazards, permafrost and mountain ecological systems.

Transport of a totaliser, an instrument to measure precipitation (Photo: André Roch)


From the first snow laboratory in 1936, the SLF has developed into a large research institute.


The SLF is part of the WSL, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. The SLF is home to four research units.

Während einer Führung stellt eine Forschende in der Eingangshalle des Institutsgebäudes einem Kreis von Zuhörenden die Forschungsmethoden und Inhalte des SLF vor.

Guided tours

You are welcome to visit the SLF and take a look behind the scenes.

Image: SLF

Instrumented field sites and laboratories

The SLF conducts a range of experiments on snow, avalanches and other natural hazards at well-equipped outdoor field sites and laboratories.


Zwei Forschende des SLF beim Durchführen eines Rutschbocktests. Dafür wurde im oberen Teil eines Hanges wurde ein ungefähr 2 mal 2 Meter grosser Schneeblock freigelegt. Während eine Person seitlich des Blockes wartet, springt die zweite mit beiden Skis von oben auf den Block.

How we conduct our research

We make observations, conduct experiments, run models and share information about snow, avalanches, natural hazards, mountain ecosystems and...

Researcher in the cold lab. Image: Ralph Feiner

Jobs and Careers

The employees of the SLF are our most important resources. We therefore regard ourselves as a conscientious employer offering attractive employment...