Planet Earth with moon and sun

Earth System Science Track

Earth System Science (ESS) is one of three tracks students can concentrate in as part of a major in Environmental Science. ESS examines the structure and function of the parts of the Earth's lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere and how these system interact with one another. This integrated science, which focuses on connections between these Earth System components, is at the heart of some of our most pressing physical science and nature-societal issues, including global climate change, water availability, and the loss of biological diversity.

Clark's ESS program emphasizes the patterns and processes across the Earth's surface (to include both land and ocean) serving as an introduction to earth sciences or geosciences. Intensive field study, satellite remote sensing analysis, geographical information science (GISc), and computer simulation are all used as tools for understanding, monitoring, and predicting Earth System behavior. The ESS track of the Environmental Science major trains graduates for a wide range of professional endeavors as well as more advanced studies involving physical geography, to include landscape ecology, land-atmosphere interactions, hydrology, biogeochemistry, remote sensing, and GISc.

View our "ESS Is" Informational Poster