The Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research (NIhK) is a non-university research institute of the State of Lower Saxony based at Wilhelmshaven since 1938. The institute’s management alternates between Dr. Felix Bittmann and Prof. Dr. Hauke Jöns (current head).
The NIhK studies the history and development of landscape, vegetation and settlement of the coastal areas of northern Central Europe, concentrating on diverse thematic focuses.
Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural- and cultural sciences at the NIhK covers the areas of coastal- and quaternary geology, soil sciences, geophysics, landscape- and settlement archaeology, historical geography, archaeobotany and vegetation history.
The institute’s own library holds more than 60,000 titles covering all research areas represented at the NIhK as well as neighbouring disciplines. It is part of the joint library network including the Federal States of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage (GBV). It is open to interested members of the public by appointment.
Traditionally close ties exist between the NIhK and the Council for the Promotion of Research in the North Sea Coastal Region. It provides a forum for wide-ranging exchange of ideas for individuals and institutions from the coastal regions of the southern North Sea engaged in the areas of research, cultural heritage promotion, economy, administration and public involvement.