The Environment and You

When life in big cities is speeding by, we often forget that we are inextricably linked to the environment.  For most of us who love to hike, climb, bike, swim, run, and play, this connection is obvious.  But, even our friends and coworkers who prefer shopping and fine wines are completely dependent on nature.  Whether it is a cell phone, clean air, your favorite bike, or your organic produce, it all either comes from natural processes or requires natural elements to synthesize, produce, and distribute.  Explore the topics below to learn more about conservation projects and challenges across all areas of the environment.


Ensuring communities have access to clean water is an ongoing challenge around the world and in many areas of the United States.  Amidst controversy about the merits and problems of finding clean, affordable water, urban planners have worked for decades to make sure even the driest areas can have a seemingly endless supply of water.  Visit our page to learn more about water planning projects and innovative ways people are conserving in an effort to meet growing demands.


Humans often feel a strong connection with animals, and yet wildlife in every corner of the world has been displaced by human activities.  Browse our information to learn more about why maintaining the planet’s biodiversity in the face of pollution, overexploitation, and habitat destruction is essential to many of the ecosystem services important for human health and economic security.

Rivers,  Lakes,  and Coasts

Our world’s rivers, lakes, and coasts are the lifeblood of society, and yet we often take these waterways for granted.  Ports, channels, and harbors are central to global shipping and communications but are also essential for thriving marine life, storm protection, and human recreation.  Browse our information to learn more about the challenges and innovative opportunities for conserving coastal areas at the interface of land and water.

Forests and Prairies

Few places can still be considered wild, but humans and animals share a love for exploring wooded mountains and rolling grasslands.  These ecosystems are some of the most heavily altered throughout human history and yet have shown a great capacity for resilience.  Learn more about sustainable forestry projects around the world and the many challenges of prioritizing restoration in areas of the U.S. that are targeted for agriculture.


As glaciers retreat at the poles and animals around the world slowly shift their ranges to adjust to changing environmental conditions on land and at sea, scientists  still struggle to communicate powerful messages to legislators and the public.  Climate change is affecting ecosystems around the world, leaving no place or living creature untouched.  Browse our information to learn more about the data, the implications, and emerging projects where people are thinking outside the box to prepare and adapt.