New Minor Focuses on Earth Systems

CURRICULUM Beginning in fall 2022, Lewis & Clark students will be able to pursue a new interdisciplinary minor in Earth system science.
  • Students taking measurements in Tryon Creek.

Beginning in fall 2022, Lewis & Clark students will be able to pursue a new interdisciplinary minor in Earth system science. This program will focus on the interactions within and between Earth’s different spheres, including the lithosphere (rock), the hydrosphere (water), the atmosphere (air), the biosphere (life), and the cryosphere (ice).

Jessica Kleiss, associate professor of environmental studies, and Elizabeth Safran, professor of geological science, spearheaded the new interdisciplinary minor. Rather than creating, say, a geology minor, the professors wanted to introduce a program that provides a framework for understanding Earth’s transformations on a large scale, along with pulling on L&C’s strengths in the natural sciences.

“You can’t understand climate change and its related concepts if you don’t understand the basics of chemistry and biology,” explains Safran. “The liberal arts college experience is at its best when it takes advantage of our ability to cross boundaries.”