Climate and Earth processes are two of the most rapidly expanding areas in the geosciences. Research in these areas seeks to understand the character and dynamics of Earth's habitable zone, especially the com-plex interactions of its biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere coupled with human-induced perturbations of these natural systems. It embraces studies of Earth's climate and its connections operating on multiple spatial and temporal scales with the hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles that are influenced by pervasive surficial processes.
Knowledge of these systems, especially their drivers and sensitivities to change, is integral to informed use of energy, mineral, water, and land resources and the environmental consequences of human activities. These advances permit understanding of paleoclimates and ancient environments from key proxies preserved in the rock record that have been verified in the modern world. The critical zone that lies as the interface of the natu-ral and anthropogenic worlds urgently needs improved understanding. Bridges between sub-disciplines of the geosciences that focus on problems such as the role of fluids in Earth systems and controls on the movement of dissolved and suspended materials can help.
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University possess research expertise in these important do-mains. Research that incorporates observation, analyses, experiments, and modeling has achieved critical in-sights into these geological and biogeochemical pathways, from molecular processes and chemical reactions, to local- and regional-scale water and sediment budgets, and ultimately to global dynamics of atmospheric composition and oceanic temperature.
The department is a key player in IU's Integrated Program in the Environment.