Environmental Sciences

Environmental science combines chemistry, biology, geology, and climate science to tackle societal issues related to environmental degradation and developing solutions to avoid and/or mitigate degradation. Our diverse research examines anthropogenic and microbiological processes with important implications for environmental conservation practices and policy making. Our faculty address wide-ranging questions in this interdisciplinary field:

a photo of soil samples, a groundwater well, remote sensing, and scientific equipment showing the breadth of environmental sciences

  • How are contaminants circulated in natural and anthropogenically altered environments and how do we minimize impacts?
  • How can isotopes fingerprint and track anthropogenic metal pollutants?
  • How can conservation of wetlands help in mitigating the effects of anthropogenic climate change?
  • How can we identify and reduce contaminant emissions and exposures?
  • How can we use satellite data and computational models to understand the water cycle behavior and how can we use this knowledge for water resources management?
  • What tools can we use to determine sources of and track distribution of groundwater contamination?
  • How does vegetation respond to human-induced environmental changes?


Faculty Areas of Interest
Charly (Carl-Georg) Bank Environmental geophysics
Joe Desloges River dynamics, flood hazards, climate change
Miriam Diamond Chemical contaminants, microplastics, human and ecosystem exposure, chemical management and protection
Ulrich Wortmann Marine geology, paleoceanography,carbon and sulfur cycling, geomicrobiology
Xiaoyong Xu Water cycle behaviour, surface-subsurface water interactions, remote sensing, hydrologic modelling, data assimilation