he mission of the Earth System Science and Policy program is to provide an integrated and creative learning environment that fosters intellectual growth, critical thinking, and practical engagement in research and management of the Earth system and resources. The need for the program exists because humans during the 20th century modified the global environment faster than they understood the consequences of their changes. The major theme of the program is therefore sustainability, defined as meeting human needs and values while preserving the planets life-support systems.

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