Merging The Natural & Social Sciences

Broad Research, Deep Focus.

The Department of Earth & Environment is diverse in its research foci. While our faculty, researchers, and students participate in the following three research clusters, Earth & Environment is distinct in our ability to address these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective across both the natural and the social sciences.

Earth System Sciences, with focal areas in climate change, climate history, coastal marine geology, marine biogeochemistry, geomorphology, carbon cycle science, global change biology, hydrology, and land cover/land use change. Faculty research interests range from sediment dynamics of estuaries in New England, to urban heat island effects, to research cruises in the South Pacific Gyre, to the detection and attribution of climate change, to the connections among soil moisture, ground water, and atmospheric water.

Human-Environment Interactions, with focal areas in world oil markets, integrated assessment of climate change, valuation of ecosystem services, energy transitions, environmental governance, and energy policy and governance. Faculty research interests range from the impact of speculation on oil prices, to China’s political economy, to the economic impact of pollinator declines, to the management of private rural lands in the United States and Australia.

Remote Sensing & Geospatial Sciences, with focal areas in remote sensing and geographic information systems. Faculty research interests range from satellite monitoring of global land cover and vegetation phenology, to spatial determinants of insectivorous bat diversity in Malaysia, to remote sensing of Amazon greenness, to remote sensing of forest change and its implication on terrestrial carbon budgets.