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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Program Outline


earth environmental

The Earth is our home, a finite environment that we need to preserve, with resources that we need to manage sustainably. Our growing environmental footprint and its influence on our planet is one of the greatest challenges we are facing. As an integral part of the Earth system, humanity (anthroposhere) interacts with other components of our planet: air (atmosphere), water (hydrosphere), ice and snow (cryosphere), solid earth (geosphere), and all living organisms (biosphere). To safeguard the future of human societies on this planet, we need to understand the environmental consequences of our actions and minimize the risks of natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). This requires a deep understanding of how the Earth system functions, which can only be achieved through an integrated approach in order to learn how the various components of the Earth system interact to govern the past, present, and future evolution of our planet.

The graduate program of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences provides such an integrated approach, combining state-of-the-art expertise of research groups divided between the Earth and Planetary Sciences Course and the Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences Course. You can access the details of the curriculum by clicking on the following links:

Course List and Graduation Requirements of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Graduate Program (Masters)
Course List and Graduation Requirements of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Graduate Program (Doctoral)

The Earth and Planetary Sciences Course offers research opportunities in subjects related to geology, geobiology, geochemistry and geophysics, bridging fundamental science with disaster mitigation and environmental studies. Scientists in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Course work on a wide range of research subjects, finding clues on the dynamics and history of our planet in rocks and minerals, using fossils and DNA analysis to unravel the evolution of the biosphere, investigating seismic, volcanic and tectonic processes based on geophysical observations and simulations, using remote-sensing technologies to reveal the composition and geological history of planetary surfaces, applying theoretical physics to understand the formation of the solar system, and devising ingenious new strategies for sustainable energy production.

The Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences Course is dedicated to understanding global environmental changes in the present context of increasing anthropogenic influence. Research carried out in the Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences Course covers subjects related to climatology, meteorology, glaciology, hydrology, and oceanography. Scientists in this course are involved in a wide variety of research projects, such as understanding the impact of climate change on drylands, the study of aerosols and clouds, the study of glaciers and glacial lakes, monitoring primary production in the oceans based on satellite remote sensing, and using computer simulations to predict future environmental changes.

The graduate program of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences strives to offer graduate students the opportunity to acquire specialized skills by taking part in intensive research activities, while fostering a global perspective and an integrated approach by promoting exchanges with other students and researchers. Graduate students can benefit from a unique set of methods, from field observations to laboratory analyses, from in situ measurements to satellite remote sensing, to tackle fundamental questions relative to the past, present and future of the Earth, and contribute to solving important environmental problems.


Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Student Affairs Office

Undergraduate Programs



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