SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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About SEES

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Global warming, unusual change in the weather, ozone hole in the stratosphere, desertification, devastation of the ecosystem, acid rain, sea pollution, and El Nino and La Nina Phenomenon. People’s concern about above mentioned global environmental issues become a part of our daily life. Also a planetoid collision, huge earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami, and dismal future caused by the environmental disruption are used as subject matters of many SF films. These environmental problems indicate diverse questions.


  • "Do these imaginary events actually occur?"
  • "Why can’t the scientists have a good grasp of these problems?"
  • "How accurate can the scientist predict out future?"

The earth is the planet of life. The top priority that Earth and Environmental Sciences has to solve is how tomaintain the earth as a planet of life. As a part of the immense universe, the earth consists of the Atmosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere, which are interacting continuously to make the earth live. ALearning related to these issues is not detached from the world, but deeply connected with our daily life.

A study that is dealing with global environmental problems is Earth and Environmental Sciences. Earth and Environmental Sciences is a part of natural science that studies component parts, circulations, and changing mechanisms of the Atmosphere, Geosphere, and the Hydrosphere; that analyzes and predicts the formation and changes of the natural environment. In order to understand Earth and Environmental formation andchanges, the object of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers a method to analyze, predict, and restore various scale of kinetic and material system’s formation, evolution, extinction and interaction between them.These researches are conducted by introducing an applied scientific technology that is based on an understanding of basic science.

Earth and Environmental Sciences is a synthetic study including Atmospheric Science that researches physical and chemical status and movement of the earth’s atmosphere; Earth System Science that researches the Earth’s material, formation, evolution, and energy circulation; Oceanography that researches physical circulation of oceanic material and resources. Students study each part of the Earth and Environmental Sciences intensively according to their interests. Namely, they select their major out of Atmospheric Science,Earth System Science, and Oceanography.

  1. 1) Atmospheric Science
    • To examine the order and law of the atmosphere by understanding movement and physical/chemical status of it
    • To predict exact weather and climate changes by researching movement and circulation of the atmosphere
    • To understand the principles of atmospheric radiation, cloud formation, and the interaction between them
    • To make an atmospheric model related to weather, climate changes and to utilize it for research and practical application
    • To trace the movement of gaseous and particle-type pollutant in the atmosphere and to evaluate their influence on the environment
    • To apply the knowledge and prediction to agriculture, fishery, manufacturing, the airline industry, the ocean industry, transportation, the high-tech industry
  2. 2) Earth System Science
    • To understand earth-forming materials and process of their evolution
    • To understand the origin, differentiation of earth-forming materials and the changes of them according to the temperature and pressure
    • To examine the earth’s inner structure by utilizing the earthquake, gravitational field, and magnetic field
    • To trace the evolutionary process of earth environment and organisms by rocks and fossils
    • To monitor changes of the global environment by an artificial satellite-remote sensing and prevent nature disasters
    • To explore the natural resources and to conduct basic investigation for an efficient land development
    • To remove and decontaminate the pollution source by understanding the transference and diffusion of the water in the earth
  3. 3) Oceanography
    • To understand overall physical, chemical, biological phenomena in the ocean
    • To understand movements of the ocean water such as a current, tide and to research related phenomena: El Nino, global warming, etc.
    • To exainvestigate mine specific characters and origin of the ingredients in the ocean water
    • To the marine life and the distribution of the resources and to utilize them
    • To examine the changes of oceanic environment based on the research of ocean floor sediments and topography
    • To deal with the oceanic pollution, to preserve and restore the marine life, and to make practical application of the mineral resources and the oceanic space

The annual number of SCI(E) papers


After Graduate

Earth and Environmental Sciences field is rapidly developing as our concern for the quality of life increase.And with the economical and social growth of our society, many professionals of Earth and Environmental Sciences are required in various fields: government agencies, research institutes, related companies, and broadcasting stations. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, students go on to an internal or external graduate school, or are employed. Students who obtain a master’s or doctor’s degree within the country accumulate a career as a researcher at abroad universities and laboratories. They stay abroad or return to the homeland to be employed by universities, research institutes, or related companies.


  • According to the 2003 report of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, three out of five doctorate acquisitors at the universities in Korea remains as the unemployed
  • - 2003/09/20, Hankook Il-bo

Earth and Environmental Sciences field, however, is different, 225 doctorate acquisitors at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul national University, and 198 doctorate acquisitors at the universities abroad are 95~100% employed in accordance with their major

The doctor’s degree holders have a stable profession at global research institutes or related organizations Of inside and outside of the country such as NASA, NOAA.