Mission and Scope

SEES produces new knowledge about earth and environmental processes and human-environment interactions at all geographic and temporal scales, provides the scientific basis for environmental and climate policy, trains the next generation of earth and environmental scientists, and disseminates knowledge and solutions for the benefit of students and society. The combination of field, instrumental, computational, and modeling approaches in the earth and environmental sciences within one unit is a major strength. SEES facilitates interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach/extension activities across the six departments and laboratories.

The numbers -  86 faculty, 210 graduate students, 230 undergraduate majors, 26,000 student credit hours and more than $17 million in external funding. We are ranked #2 nationally in funding from NSF's Division of Earth Sciences. 


SEES is a federation of the College of Science Departments of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, Geosciences,  the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, and the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Acting Director for SEES

Management is by an executive council of the participating unit heads, with one of the heads serving as the Director, rotating annually. The participating units retain their existing governance, academic programs, and identities.

The Acting Director for SEES 2019-2020 Fiscal Year is Barbara Carrapa, Professor and Department Head of the Department of Geosciences.

Academic Programs

SEES offers undergraduate degrees in Geosciences, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, and Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences. MS and PhD degrees are offered in Geosciences, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and Natural Resources. Tree-Ring students are granted degrees by departments in multiple colleges.

Research Programs

GEOS, HAS, and SWES are already nationally ranked in the "top ten" in their fields and LTRR is renowned as the global leader in many applications of dendrochronology in environmental sciences. HAS provides many linkages among the existing units and is ranked as the second most efficient department in CoS. Aligning the departments into a new School establishes a coherent and more readily recognized UA program in earth, environmental, water, and atmospheric sciences, with unique capabilities. SEES puts the UA in a better position to compete for funding for the coming major initiatives in climate research, water quality and supply, and earth resources. Support from agencies and resource industries is likely to increase because of our ability to quickly assemble interdisciplinary teams of faculty and researchers.