Students in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences study the earth and planets to understand their origin, constitution, and development, and the effect of the resulting physical and chemical characteristics on the history of life, on the environment, and on humanity. Broad training in the fundamental sciences enriched by more specialized course work within the division forms the basis of the educational program. Students are encouraged to work with complex and often incomplete data sets, to undertake research in natural settings such as in the field or at sea, and to use the many modern laboratory facilities available within the division. Programs of study and research are pursued in environmental science and engineering, geology, geobiology, geochemistry, geophysics, and planetary science. The curriculum is flexible so that students with diverse degrees in science and engineering may carry out graduate work within the division. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged and students may carry out academic and research programs within and between different divisions. The objective is to train students for future employment in academic research, government, and industry.