Environmental Science & Engineering

Our society’s influence on the natural world’s ecosystems and resources has never been more prominent or problematic than it is today. In order to better understand and address environmental challenges, environmental scientists and engineers provide technical solutions and advance innovations in environmental measurements, modeling, and control through the application of scientific and engineering principles.

Environmental Science and Engineering in Harvard’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is an interdisciplinary program with the common goal of understanding, predicting and responding to human-induced environmental change. Addressing environmental issues such as global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, or local and regional air and water pollution requires perspectives from a diverse set of scientific disciplines including atmospheric physics and chemistry, oceanography, glaciology, hydrology, geophysics, ecology, and biogeochemistry.  We view the Earth system as a complex set of chemical, physical and biological interactions, made even more complicated by the various activities of human society.  Through exploration of the underlying processes and feedbacks within the Earth system, and with a range of approaches from theory and modeling to experiments and observations, we train undergraduate and graduate students to think about environmental processes in an integrated fashion, preparing them to manage the environmental challenges we face.