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The mission of the School of Earth and Space Exploration centers on four points.

1. We conduct pathbreaking research on the Earth, other planets and space.

At SESE, our faculty, researchers and students seek to expand the frontiers of knowledge through the exploration of Earth, space, matter, time and life. More and more, successful exploration depends on engineering theory and practice to create technologies for scientific advances. Our programs explicitly emphasize the importance of technology in modern scientific research.

2. We focus on the education of our undergraduate and graduate students.

Our educational aim is to produce and evolve scientists and engineers who can tackle significant problems across traditional disciplines and create new instruments to push out the frontiers of knowledge. SESE students learn the means to advance Earth, planetary and astrophysical sciences.

3. We reach out to the community and K-12 students and educators with our research and training.

Tomorrow's explorers are in elementary, middle and high schools today. We provide educators of all levels with professional development to advance their understanding of science and technology. We seek to inspire the next generations to be open to science and to understand it both as a quest and as a way to answer questions — not as a set of facts to memorize.

4. We foster a positive collaborative academic community.

We are a community of researchers who look beyond traditional boundaries for big problems to solve, and we invent the means to solve them. Interdisciplinary work requires team support, and we strive to maintain a team-oriented, positive community.