# Study Sites

**Sion**

Sion is the administrative capital of Valais with a population of 27 000 and is surrounded by the vinyards of the Rhone Valley.

**Pfynwald**

The Pfynwald or (Pfyn-Finges Forest) is one of the largest pine forests in the Alps. It is part of the Pfyn Finges Refional Nature Park which also includes the only section of the Rhone not to be cenelized (The Wild Rhone) and the Illgraben (one of the largest debris slopes in the Alps at 10km²

**Saas Grund**

The mountain village of Saas Grund is the base for the firld course and students undertake an orientation excercise here on the Sunday. The environmental studies students also go up to Trift for an upland pastures excercise on the Monday.

**Saas Fee**

Saas Fee is the largest village/resort in the Saastal and lies at the foot of the 13 4000m+ peaks. All students visit on the Tuesday to undertake a river gauging and lichenometry exercise and all students may visit agin on the Friday to look at sutainability and geographical imaginations.

**Mattmark**

The Mattmark Dam is Europe's largest earth dam and holds back 100 million cubic metres of water and lies at the head of the Saastal. Geography and Environmental Management students undertake exercises her on the wednesday.

**Zermatt**

Zermatt (pop 5600) is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world. All students visit Zermatt on the Thursday and in addition the Geography students go to Goenegrat and the Environmental students fo to Findel Alp.

**Visp**

Visp has a population of 7224 with 4821 voters. As of 2008, 19.3% of the population were resident foreign nationals. From 2000 to 2010 the population changed at a rate of 5.8%. There are 8500 jobs, with one company, Lonza/DSM accounting for 3000 of these, although there are 500 SMEs in the town. Around 6000 people commute per day to Visp. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (5,778 or 88.2%) as their first language, Serbo-Croatian is the second most common (192 or 2.9%) and Albanian is the third (139 or 2.1%). There are 107 people who speak French, 111 people who speak Italian and 3 people who speak Romansh.

**Brig-Glis**

Brig-Glis had a population of 12,728 in December 2012. As of 2008, 14.1% of the population were resident foreign nationals. From 1999 to 2009 the population changed at a rate of 4.5%. It has changed at a rate of 7.8% due to migration and at a rate of -0.7% due to births and deaths. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks German (10,465 or 90.3%) as their first language, Italian is the second most common (221 or 1.9%) and French is the third (197 or 1.7%). There are 8 people who speak Romansh. The language used in every day transactions is a unique German dialect, only used in this particular canton.

**Sierre**

Sierre counts as one of the three official bilingual towns in Switzerland. Novelis and Alcan employ 1200 workers in Chippis. In 2007, the agglomeration of Sierre/Crans-Montana was formed to address common problems, especially in the fields of tourism and transportation. Sierre had a population of 15,945 in December 2012. As of 2008, 27.0% of the population were resident foreign nationals. From 2000 to 2010 the population changed at a rate of 12.3%. It has changed at a rate of 11.9% due to migration and at a rate of 0% due to births and deaths. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks French (10,710 or 74.8%) as their first language, German is the second most common (1,803 or 12.6%) and Italian is the third (765 or 5.3%). There are 6 people who speak Romansh.

**Crans-Montana**

Crans-Montana is a high plateau tourist destination started in 1893 and is now a town of around 6,500 inhabitants or over 15,000 if you include the total population of the six local communes : Chermignon, Icogne, Lens, Mollens, Montana, Randogne. In high season, there are up to 50,000 people in this resort. It has three tourist seasons in the resort.

**Martigny**

Is a former Roman town formally known as *Octodurum. *Martigny had a population of 16,897 in December 2012. As of 2008, 30.6% of the population were resident foreign nationals. From 2000 to 2010 the population changed at a rate of 13.1%. It has changed at a rate of 6.7% due to migration and at a rate of 3.5% due to births and deaths. Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks French (12,227 or 85.1%) as their first language, Portuguese is the second most common (602 or 4.2%) and Italian is the third (597 or 4.2%). There are 227 people who speak German and 9 people who speak Romansh.