Species that occupy a distinctive ecological region form a system that captures, transforms and moves huge quantities of matter and energy. These flows are of interest as atmospheric and geological processes modulated by life. They also represent environmental conditions that create opportunities and challenges for the species currently in (or potentially joining) that ecosystem, including humans. SBS researchers work on various issues in several kinds of ecosystems, and they contribute to the development of new tools and approaches that advance the science globally. This interdisciplinary field merges the life sciences and physical sciences to address contemporary environmental science issues.