The Earth is a unique planet with a history of 4.6 billion years. It has abundant water which forms the basis for life, including human life. Geoscience addresses issues relating to the evolution of the Earth, the natural processes on the Earth’s surface, in the Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and the interactions between natural environments and human activities.
The main applications of geoscience are: environmental protection from local to global scales, restoration from environmental damage, exploration and responsible development of natural resources (oil, gas, coal, minerals, construction aggregate, water, soil), mitigation of geohazards such as earthquakes and landslides, as well as forecasting climate change and its impacts.
As human population numbers continue to increase, our planet will be put under increasing stress, and managing our environment will become more important. Remediation of polluted industrial sites requires specialized knoweldge and understanding, and is becoming more important.
The US government predicts an 18% growth in the number of positions for geoscientists and hydrologists between 2008 and 2018, underscoring the need for well trained specialists in the geo-environmental sciences.