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Understanding how our planet works

Our goal is to understand, predict, and respond to human-caused and natural environmental change at local to global scales. Scientists in our Earth System Science department offer a strong graduate research program across a broad range of environmental and Earth science disciplines for students working toward a doctoral degree. Undergraduate and coterminal master's degrees are offered through the closely related and popular Earth Systems Program.

Degree Programs


The Earth System Science department does not have an undergraduate program.  However, many of its faculty teach in the popular, interdisciplinary Earth Systems Program, which offers a BS and co-terminal MS degree.

Learn more about Earth Systems Program

Graduate Program

Through its courses, seminars, and speaker series, ESS offers graduate students an opportunity to be part of an intellectual community with common or related interests and goals. 

Learn more about our Graduate program

Meet some of our community members

Research groups in Earth system science

Learn more about our faculty labs and research groups ranging from ocean biogeochemistry to soil science and geohydrology.

Explore research groups

Shared analytical facilities

Students and faculty start their examination of specimens in our comprehensive Earth Materials Preparation lab. Our shared labs offer everything from gas, liquid, and solid analyses to isotopic analysis for geochronology and deciphering (bio)geochemical processes.

Learn about our shared labs

Events related to Earth System Science

No events are currently scheduled.

Earth system science news