Global environmental changes require a comprehensive understanding of the earth’s major systems, and of the important ways in which these systems are linked. The major systems are the geosphere—processes of the Earth’s surface and interior; biosphere—life on land and in the sea; atmosphere—weather and climate; hydrosphere—water in the oceans, air, and on the continents; and cryosphere—snow and ice-covered regions, as well as the impact of human activities on these systems. The goal of earth system science is to obtain a scientific understanding of the entire earth system on a global scale. Recent studies of the continents, oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, and ice cover have revealed a far more complex and dynamic world than hitherto imagined.
Note: Links below go to the UMass Guide to Undergraduate Programs - scroll down to see your area of interest.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth Systems
For those with an interest in the interactions of large-scale systems on the Earth--the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, ocean, and snow and ice realms--this degree provides a holistic perspective on the Earth.