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With an ever-increasing awareness of the need for sustainable development, the understanding of geohazards, climate and ecosystem monitoring, vulnerability and risks, resource management and technological advancement, it is clear that a sound knowledge base about our planet, and more specifically, about our national terrestrial, marine and atmospheric environment, will assume more importance in the near future. Although the Maltese Islands are small in size, there is still much that needs to be better understood about the physical environment of our land and surrounding seas, their interaction with the hydrosphere and atmosphere, their relationship with the surrounding region of the central Mediterranean and the rest of the planet, and the impact on society in general. Moreover, the very nature of Malta’s marine, terrestrial and atmospheric environments link inextricably to the economic and social dimensions of human activity in the country. The newly established Department of Geosciences within the Faculty of Science is intended to spearhead the response of the University of Malta to these challenges and opportunities. It is largely an applied research institution in the earth-related sciences, founded on a strong base of interdisciplinary science, with a focus on operational oceanography, seismology and geophysics, marine geology, and atmosphere and climate research. It will strive to be a national reference point for matters related to the scientific understanding of the land, marine and atmospheric environments, at local, regional and larger scales. It will, moreover, strive to be an exciting and challenging hub for student participation in fundamental studies and applied research, using the latest technologies and international opportunities. The primary research areas within the Department of Geosciences are: Atmospheric and Climate Studies Geology and Geophysics Operational Oceanography


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