The Carpathian Interdisciplinary Research Center (CIRC) is an initiative and was founded by the Geoconcept Association of Applied Geography (AGAG). CIRC is located in the northernmost sector of the Romanian Carpathian range at 1220 m asl, in Tibau Mts, in the close vicinity of Rodna Mts National Park and Maramures Mts Natural Park.
CIRC is based in a traditional wooden house which belonged, during its century-old existence, to a Hutzul farmer family. The building has been fully restored and provided with modern-day facilities. The perimeter comprises a main house and a summerhouse with terrace.
The houses are built mainly of old manually processed timber, whereas the roofs are made of wooden shingles produced by local artisans using an ancient technique. The interiors are decorated according to the tradition of the area using handmade items, including furniture and textiles.
The facility is located in a pristine Carpathian region surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscapes. The outdoor stretches over 10 ha and comprises a little pond and a 20 m high rock that offers a wonderful view of the surrounding mountain ranges. The venue is suitable and equipped for hosting summer schools or student field trips.
In October 2021, for the duration of four days, CIRC hosted the proceedings of the CBPW2021 workshop with the onsite participation of more than 40 scientists, most of which came from abroad. This venue allowed for the organization of the onsite event in a safe space where public health regulations were thoroughly followed, and we were able to ensure the safety of participants.
CIRC is located in a medium-elevation mountain area surrounded by high-altitude ranges, with national and natural parks, which is suitable for various research activities in scientific fields which include (but are not limited to):
- paleolimnology (based on the significant number of glacial and periglacial lakes in the neighbouring mountain areas)
- glacial geomorphology
- karst and cave records
- hydrological studies of mountain streams and rivers in the context of current climate changes
- forestry (distribution, disturbances, management, deforestation, old-growth forest conservation, other forest-related topics)
- mountain environment
- climate change (present and past)
- vegetation history (based on lacustrine and peat bog sediments)
- ecology and biodiversity (as the area ranks among the most diverse within the Romanian Carpathians)
- geology (structural, lithological, tectonic and hydrogeology)
- biological studies of large carnivore populations (bears, wolfs, lynx)
- cultural and social studies of mountain populations
- demography and mobility of mountain populations
- traditional agriculture and farming
- land use / land cover structure and changes
- practices and management in Romanian national parks etc.
At CIRC we provide the necessary space, security and the possibility to carry out and supervise regular measurements for environmental monitoring in the area (e.g., air, water and soil measurements), for investigating present-day geomorphic processes (erosion, creep etc.), as well as for studies and monitoring of natural ecosystems (forests, pastures). We also provide research assistance in our fields of competency.
Guests have our support for field trips and basic equipment available for field activities (e.g., corers, 4×4 vehicle, boats, tools for water & air measurements etc.) and for lab activities (microscope, analytical balance, oven, sample refrigerator, sample preparation bench etc.).
Leisure options in the area available for guests include: hiking, horse riding, climbing, fishing, paragliding, traditional household/farming activities, wild animals and birds watching, nature/landscape photography, as well as skiing, sleighing and horse sleighing during the cold season when the area typically benefits from abundant snow cover.
Overall, guests at CIRC are able to sample the secluded, traditional way of life typical for the medium-altitude mountain environments of the Carpathians sparsely inhabited by cattle and sheep farmers, which are currently among the last remaining such landscapes in Europe.