Environmental Quality - A Growing and Global Problem

The quality of our environment is a major worldwide issue today. In every country we struggle to protect our environment from further degradation and to restore damaged and degraded lands. All agree that we need clean air, clean water, clean soils, and healthy, biologically diverse natural ecosystems to sustain strong and productive societies. And yet we know that many of our soil and water resources are contaminated with nutrients, heavy metals, radionuclides, organic chemicals, salts, and pathogenic microorganisms. We know that soil erosion and soil degradation continue to plague all countries, threatening our ability to produce the food and have the safe drinking waters needed for a soaring world population. We see the growing loss of farmlands and natural areas, such as wetlands and forests, to urban growth and development and wonder about the long-term impacts on the quality of our daily lives. We view with growing concern atmospheric pollution by emissions from soils, industries, agricultural operations, and landfills. More than ever before, there are concerns about the chronic effects of a degraded environment on human health. How can we best respond to these challenges and take the actions needed to protect and improve our environment?

ISEQ has a three-fold mission:

  • To conduct basic and applied research on soil and environmental quality issues. Integral to this research is a rigorous, comprehensive graduate and undergraduate education program dedicated to training new soil and environmental scientists.
    Our research faculty emphasize inter-disciplinary research between soil scientists and colleagues in agronomy, chemistry, engineering, marine studies, hydrology, resource economics and environmental policy. As part of this, the ISEQ supports graduate assistantships and an undergraduate internship program in soil and environmental science.
  • To serve as an unbiased scientific advisory body for state, regional, and national advisory and regulatory agencies, policy-makers, and governmental leaders on issues related to soil and environmental quality.
    All scientists affiliated with the ISEQ serve on a Scientific Advisory Panel that responds to technical questions from the public and private sector on soil and environmental science issues.
  • To conduct public education and outreach programs designed to further public understanding of soil and environmental quality issues and thus foster effective citizen involvement in environmental policy-making.
    The ISEQ provides training and educational aids related to soil and environmental sciences for K-12 teachers. We also conduct and support environmental education activities for youth, parents, and teachers, such a summer environmental camps.
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