Office of Science


EMSL's Science and Science Themes

EMSL's unique and state-of-the-art capabilities along with staff expertise can help scientists gain a predictive understanding of the molecular-to-mesoscale processes in climate, biological, environmental and energy systems. These advancements are critical to development of sustainable solutions to the nation's energy and environmental challenges.

Four Science Themes help EMSL define and direct the research investments and establish a portfolio of user projects to accelerate scientific innovation and discovery in the areas of environmental molecular science critical to DOE and the nation. EMSL's annual call for proposals solicits proposals on specific topics within these Science Themes.

Over the next 10 years, EMSL will focus its science toward developing predictive understandings that ultimately enables design and control of complex biological and chemical systems of importance the Department of Energy and its Office of Biological and Environmental Research. Such predictive understanding requires not only a systems-level view but also the ability to identify the roles that individual components, such as molecules and aerosols, have on overall system behaviors. Specifically EMSL is focusing attention on four science themes.

Atmospheric Aerosol Systems

Molecular-scale understanding of key chemical and physical properties of aerosols to accurately predict regional air quality and climate.

Biosystem Dynamics & Design

Optimizing and understanding the responses of organisms and biological communities to their environment.

Energy Materials & Processes

Understanding the physical and chemical properties of interfaces to design new materials for energy applications

Terrestrial & Subsurface Ecosystems

Understanding molecular processes in terrestrial and subsurface environments.