GSS is focused on critical problems that cross the nexus of natural and human systems. Nine critical problems have been identified in which Virginia Tech is already positioned with significant expertise and visibility both nationally and internationally: sea level rise and the land-sea interface, progressive soil degradation, pressure on forest ecosystems and watersheds, demands for raw materials, abundance and quality of fresh water, defaunation and biosphere integrity, supply and integrity of food, degradation of ozone and aerosol loading, and transmission of infectious disease. In addressing these critical problems, GSS integrates three overarching areas of inquiry: • Biogeophysical Sciences: Combining knowledge from microbial communities to the highest trophic levels, across continental, oceanic, and atmospheric environments. This component is governed by the basic principles of physics, chemistry, and geoscience. • The Sociocultural Realm: Encompassing not only the social and health sciences but also consideration of human expression and experience through the humanities and the arts. Full integration of sociocultural approaches into global systems science is a paradigm-shifting approach to critical problems. • Technology and Tools: Advanced modeling capabilities, high-performance computing, and advanced computing resources, including sensors, that may be used to develop state-of-the-art predictive/forecasting models for global government.