• <a href="/live/image/gid/690/width/650/93065_image0.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image93065"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/690/width/500/height/479/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/690/width/500/height/479/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/690/width/500/height/479/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/690/width/720/height/690/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/690/width/720/height/690/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/690/width/720/height/690/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg" alt="Our students—especially those in our natural science classes—regularly learn outside of the classroom on field trips, like this recen..." width="720" height="690" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/690/width/720/height/690/crop/1/93065_image0.rev.1646775770.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1800" data-max-h="1798" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Our students—especially those in our natural science classes—regularly learn outside of the classroom on field trips, like this recent excursion to Rattlesnake Road Wind Farm in Oregon. Photo taken by Olivia Bruce BA ’24.</div>

Earth system science (ESS) provides a way to engage with the science of some of today’s most pressing questions: How do changes in atmospheric composition affect climate? How do shifts in global land cover affect nutrient loading of the world’s waters or the abundance and distribution of different life forms? The study of ESS focuses on key Earth components, including the slowly churning rocky substrate, the liquids circulating through and atop it, the patches of ice crowning its nether reaches, the thin envelope of air surrounding it, and the organisms that populate its surface. In our minor, you’ll use connections across scientific disciplines to develop a framework for understanding large-scale transformations of our planet and their consequences, and you’ll graduate with experience in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes that drive planetary functions, offering valuable professional training with diverse practical applications.

  • I chose biology as my major because the major requirements fit well with pre-med requirements, and the class descriptions interested me. The STEM faculty I got to interact with also made the decision easy.

    Zoë Sanderson BA ’24
    Biology | Eugene, Oregon
    More about Zoë
  • I believe that a liberal arts education is great for preparing somebody for med school.

    Peter Lahti BA ’19
    Biology | Lincoln City, Oregon
    More about Peter
  • Simply put, I have become a more practical environmentalist, a critical thinker, and have a clearer vision of how our future must look.

    Gabriella Francolla BA ’18
    Environmental Studies | San Diego, California
    More about Gabriella