Earth Sciences, the science of the Earth, is concerned with understanding:
- The earth's internal structure and composition, its dynamic character (earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics), and
- the processes that occur within it
- The processes that shape the surface of the Earth, and the materials that constitute its surface layers
- The origin, occurrence, extraction and conservation of the Earth's natural resources - minerals, fossil fuels, soils, water
- The place of the Earth within the Solar System
- The history of life on Earth
Earth Sciences puts the human race in planetary perspective within space and time. As our awareness of human interactions with the environment increases, our need for better understanding of the way the earth works becomes more urgent.
Increasingly, a grounding in Earth Sciences is seen as essential for those concerned with care of the environment and assessment of natural hazards, as well as for those involved with utilising Earth's resources. Solutions to problems of pollution and waste disposal, to major civil engineering problems such as those encountered at dam sites, and to the effects of global change arising from human impact on the environment, must all be sought within the framework of Earth Sciences.