Readers consistently rate the environment as one of their greatest concerns. In an effort to give the subject the attention it deserves, we have asked Mark Hertsgaard to establish an Environment Department, which makes its first appearance on the masthead this week. Hertsgaard has been covering the environment, and writing for The Nation, for more than twenty years and is the author of the highly regarded Earth Odyssey: Around the World in Search of Our Environmental Future. Indicating a range of interests that he intends to pursue in his work for the magazine, his other books include On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency and, most recently, The Eagle's Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World. He's a frequent contributor to leading newspapers and magazines here and abroad, and the political correspondent for Link TV, a new national satellite channel.