Wageningen University (WU) was founded in 1918 as the Landbouwhogeschool, becoming the Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU) in 1986. In recent decades, it has evolved into one of the world’s leading universities in the fields of life sciences and environmental sciences. In the late 1990s, WAU was renamed as Wageningen University and became a part of Wageningen University and Research (WUR). Wageningen UR consists of Wageningen University and several research institutes. WU has around 10,000 BSc. and MSc. students and more than 1,900 PhD students. In 2016 students ranked Wageningen as the best university in the Reference Guide for Higher Education in the Netherlands for the twelfth year in a row. The top quality of research at Wageningen University is crowned with the university’s position within the top 6 of the important citation indexes of its domain. This combination of knowledge and experience enables WUR to contribute actively to solving scientific, social and commercial problems in the fields of life sciences, environmental sciences and natural resources.
The Department of Environmental Sciences is one of the five Departments of Wageningen University. The Department of Environmental Sciences covers and co-ordinates the activities of 17 chairs and their accompanying research groups which form the foundation of the scientific education and research activities at university level. The chairs of the Department of Environmental Sciences and their research groups focus on a broad range of environmental issues such as atmosphere, environment, geo-information systems, landscape and land use planning, nature and forestry, soil and water. The chair groups of Environmental Sciences contribute, by their very nature, in curricula in the field of the environmental sciences, where the focus is on the physical space (land, water, atmosphere, nature and landscape) and on the relationships between man and his surroundings, and in the field of the Masters programs Biology, Plants and Animals (biology).