NWO Earth and Life Sciences (ALW) finances and stimulates high-grade scientific research in the field of earth and life sciences. ALW covers research on the solid earth, the biosphere, the atmosphere and climate, the oceans and the polar areas. ALW also supports research in life sciences such as ecology, evolution and biodiversity, in other words the natural world including humans. The interactions between the biotic and abiotic systems also fall under ALW's sphere of activities. Wherever necessary, ALW's responsibilities extend across its divisional boundaries to other scientific areas such as physics and medicine.