Earth and Environmental Science

Earth & Environmental Sciences Our planet is changing on all spatial and temporal scales. The Earth system, like the human body, is comprised of diverse components that interact in complex ways. We need to understand the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere as a single connected system. The purpose of NASA's Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth's system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. NASA-sponsored observations from Earth observation systems and predictions from Earth science models linked by powerful new technologies and complementary approaches to shared science goals provide an exceptional opportunity to understand our environment. Considerable research and development taking place in Arizona in this area is at your fingertips, and you have the potential to participate through a Space Grant Undergraduate Internship!

Can you imagine yourself working with a faculty mentor…


  • Studying the effects of climatic and other changes on planet Earth?
  • Researching animals and the ecosystem carbon budget?
  • Analyzing the continuous flow of Greenland ice cores?
  • Measuring land cover and land use change in African cities?
  • Analyzing rare Earth element sequestration by Fe-oxides?
  • Relating climate variability and valley fever?
  • Studying the effects of radiation on ices?
  • Determining site-specific yield and variable rate application of inputs for agriculture?
  • Distinguishing local versus global plutonium fallout in southwestern lakes?
  • Reconstructing the past with climate and trees?
  • Mapping and modeling the spatial distribution of saguaros with GIS?
  • Remediating complex wastewater?
  • Removing arsenic from drinking water sources?
  • Measuring soil moisture content using radar satellite sensors?
  • Investigating episodic solar phenomenon on upper atmospheric density?
  • Assessing land cover change on Navajo Nation watersheds?
  • Modeling tropical tree growth from climate observations?
  • Tracking Quaternary vegetation change is southwestern deserts?
  • Assessing the ozone hazard to people and vegetation at different elevations?
  • Determining dust devil hazard to aviation?
  • Integrating remote sensing and dendrochronology to assess drought?
  • Monitoring revegetation of retired farmlands in arid regions?
  • Estimating global warming potentials?
  • Modeling post-wildfire recovery using satellite imagery?