The Department of Earth System Science was established, within the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, in late 2007. We recognized that a number of faculty in Earth Sciences were engaged in the study of Earth’s environmental system, engaging in biogeochemical, geophysical, and geographical studies of the land, atmospheric, freshwater, and oceanic components of the global system. This wealth of talent within the School provided us with a strategic opportunity to form a single, focused, cohesive unit capable of addressing integrated research topics and education in global environmental and Earth surface processes. Our efforts in academics and research have become further strengthened by a number of collaborative connections within and beyond Stanford, including such groups as the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Carnegie Institute’s Department of Global Ecology, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. There are currently 16 faculty members in the department, including a recent hire in Marine Geochemistry.