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Earth Systems Science

Understanding interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

The Earth System Science Section advances understanding and predicts how terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems exchange carbon, water, nutrients, and trace elements across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Researchers are examining how plants, soil microorganisms, and their surrounding environment drive important ecosystem functions using cutting-edge experimental, modeling, and analytical approaches. They are studying how biogeochemical cycles contribute to broader environmental patterns and responses through use of novel observational and manipulative approaches. Scientists are pursuing a predictive understanding of ecosystem dynamics using large-scale manipulative experiments, observations, and integrated modeling. They are also developing integrated models to better understand hydrology in watersheds and Earth system models to gain a predictive understanding of the interactions among Earth’s physical, biological, ecological, and human systems.


Corporate Fellow, Section Head for Earth Systems Science, Director of Climate Change Science Institute
Peter E Thornton