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Almost every place on Earth harbors life, but under different climatic conditions, resulting in an amazing number of diverse habitats. Further, these environments change due to the effects of seasons, weather, humans, and the organisms themselves.

Agricultural Land & Water

For thousands of years we have utilized natural resources to yield foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. The 21st century merges scientific methods to produce biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, and bioplastics to meet our modern needs.

  • Agricultural Land & Water

Arid and Desert Environments

These areas cover 30% of Earth’s land surface as arid desert or semi-arid steppes and are defined by their water deficiency. Most lie in subtropical or mid-latitude sections and house some of the most resilient organisms on the planet.

  • Arid and Desert Environments


Naturally hollowed cavities are usually formed underground by water erosion or in the sides of mountains. They produce some of the most fascinating geological sights due to the unique rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

  • Caves

Ecological Processes

Ecology consists of the study of individuals, populations and ecosystems, and how they all interact. It also includes the study of the processes that affect change, such as overpopulation, colonization of new islands, and habitat changes.

  • Ecological Processes


A variety of global environments sustain a high-density of plants and trees, offering habitats for vast biodiversity. The Earth is vitally dependent on the forest processes and contributions for biogeochemical cycles and productivity of energy.

  • Forests


Geology is the study of Earth's history and processes. These images of soils, minerals, rocks, fossils and geological proccesses are examples of geology's wide scope in the study of nature.

  • Geology


The steppes, prairies, llanos, pampas, savannas, meadows, and range-lands of the world are all forms of grasslands – lands that can get very dry, and that are dominated by grass or grass-like species.

  • Grasslands

Mixed Environments

Whether an environment is considered to have a 'mixed' habitat or not (and thus whether its image is included here) depends on how the habitats were defined, and the scale at which they were observed. Images covering larger scales, such as aerial photography, are more likely to show mixed environments.

  • Mixed Environments

Mountains & Mesas

Landmasses protruding high above the surface and created by various geological methods. These structures are key to understanding geological history as they leave behind a map to the movement and erosion of Earth’s crustal surface.

Polar & Alpine Environments

The Arctic and Antarctic polar environments contain beautiful scenery and habitats with diverse life. This gallery also contains images of the tundra environments that exist in high mountains above the timberline.

Scrub & Heaths

Due to poor soil, fire, or other major disturbances, some habitats contain only small woody shrubs and other low vegetation. Thus scrublands, heaths, and moorlands of the world can present wide vistas.

Tropical Environments

Tropical environments share a relatively unchanging day length, but otherwise they can differ tremendously due to rainfall and soil types. These factors account for tropical environments ranging from dry deserts to dense, incredibly tall rainforests.

Urban Environments

The word "urban" is used to describe environments within a city, but this collection also includes other types of developed environments: suburbs, villages, roads and more.

Volcanic Environments

Although many images in this collection are of stark, moonscape-like scenes after recent volcanic activity, many are of lush, healthy ecosystems within craters or other geothermal sites.

Water & Wetlands

As illustrated by this collection, a "body of water" can be a tiny rain puddle, a powerful ocean, or anything in between.