Return to Division


Special Topics

Welcome to the Earth and Ocean Sciences Division at Duke University!  We are a diverse group of scientists, researchers, and teachers who all share a passion for the natural world.  We seek to understand how the different “spheres” of the Earth function, humanity’s place among them, and how we have and will impact our planet.  The atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere are intricately linked with each other and as humans’ footprint on our environment and global ecology has deepened, we have gone from mere strands in the web to a planet-shaping force.

With sitting at the head of the table comes great responsibility, not only to the natural world and fellow human beings, but also to future generations.  Our planet has a finite number of resources and space.  Learning how to live sustainably in the long term will require humans to dramatically improve and deepen our scientific understanding of planet Earth.

If you are stirred by the sound of waves crashing on a beach, wind blowing through rocky craigs, the rumble of a summer thunderstorm, the babbling of an ice cold mountain stream, and the groaning of glacial ice, you will find like-minded people in our division.  If you also want to build an extensive tool set of scientific data gathering, quantitative analysis, and state of the art laboratory skills, EOS is your home.  Our major emphasizes process, hands-on learning, and skill-building.  We seek to create the scientists, policy-makers, teachers, and communicators that will solve today’s AND tomorrow’s environmental, natural resource, and economic challenges.

Our students are not intimitated by tough questions, seemingly unsolveable problems, and uncomfortable, inconvenient answers.  We believe that the future survival of humanity, our planet and its diverse ecosystem will increasingly depend on people with a love for and knowledge of scientific thinking, skills, and inquiry.

Are you ready to take on a challenge no smaller than Planet Earth?