The Department of Environmental Sciences was established in 1969 through a merging of the Department of Geography and the Department of Geology. It was the first environmental sciences department in the nation to offer degrees from the B.A. through the Ph.D. levels. Throughout its history, the department has placed an emphasis on interdisciplinary environmental science, a concept cultivated through interactions between the four core areas of the department – geosciences, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, and ecology. The department has increasingly broadened its scope of interdisciplinarity through collaborations throughout the University, such as those formalized through the Environmental Resilience Institute. The faculty has grown from 12 in 1969 to over 30 today, with several having joint appointments with other departments. Leveraging its history of early innovation, and through continued evolution, the Department of Environmental Sciences has maintained a leadership role in its approach to environmental research and education.
The Department of Environmental Sciences recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, here is a link to a video reflection of the department by the faculty, staff, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate students.