ESRI-SC was founded in 1973 to conduct applied research and service in petroleum exploration, environmental geosciences, engineering, and computer applications. ESRI-SC, an extramurally funded institute at USC, has changed research focus over the years, but maintained its connection with and main funding through federal, state, and local government, industry, local business, and NGOs. Strengths are in the energy, environmental, and climate (carbon dioxide and methane hydrates) fields, all priority research areas of USC. A vast majority of this work is exploratory in purpose (e.g. oil, gas, mineral resources, carbon dioxide injection reservoirs) or geared toward environmental hazard assessment (e.g. earthquakes, potential pathways for subsurface toxic contaminants). ESRI-SC has the ability to organize and manage diverse research teams composed of industry, governmental agencies, and university scientists and has one of the most complete and advanced facilities for the acquisition, processing, interpretation, modeling and visualization of various geophysical and geological data.