Earth science, or geoscience, is an all-encompassing term used for the sciences related to the Earth's processes; atmospheric, geological, geophysical, glacial, and oceanic. The atmosphere is one component of many that makeup Earth's intricate system. Atmospheric science is a broad discipline, within which there are several more specific areas of study (i.e., - climate, ocean/air interactions, atmospheric chemistry, societal impacts).

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is charged with, among other things, providing the atmospheric science community with expertise, oversight, and observing systems to carry out research projects on the field.

Field campaigns are designed to develop a complete understanding of the complex interactions between the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land, ice masses, and biosphere. The impact of human activities on the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes is a significant focus of our National Center. The Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL) is tasked primarily with developing technologically advanced instrumentation and data acquisition systems and overseeing scientific field campaigns that enable the collection of data for innovative scientific research. EOL field campaigns contribute directly to NCAR's goal of improving society's understanding of the atmosphere and Earth's systems, specifically by investigating atmospheric processes and examining interactions between the atmosphere and other environmental components.