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What is Environmental Science: Understanding Our Changing Earth?

Environmental Science: Understanding Our Changing Earth, offers a unique approach to teaching both Earth Science and Environmental Science, by incorporating an Earth Systems approach. Created by the American Geosciences Institute with funding support from the National Science Foundation, Environmental Science: Understanding Our Changing Earth shows the interconnected nature of the Earth systems and builds a foundation for life-long learning.

An interdisciplinary environmental science curriculum that emphasizes Earth systems helps students develop the underlying science and knowledge that forms the foundation for understanding and policy discussion. Moreover, the critical component of environmental science is the focus on how earth systems interact with human society. This subject uniquely ties the physical sciences with social sciences, constituting a unique opportunity to demonstrate the widest application of science to life. Within this context of human interaction is the need to address concepts of risk and cost-benefit. Students will be taught to understand the process of decision-making made by policy-makers when using earth system information.


  • Earth Systems Approach: Shows the connectedness of the Earth systems to each other and particularly to humans.
  • Everyday Examples: The text is written with practical examples relevant to the life experiences and understanding of its high school audience.
  • Richly Illustrated throughout with current and up-to-date images of what is happening in our environment today.
  • Conversational style of writing that engages students.
  • Clearly stated objectives at the beginning of each chapter