Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky has only recently become recognised internationally, despite being regarded in Russia as one of the greatest names in science of the 20th century. His most important work “The Biosphere” was only translated into English in 1997. This work defines the biosphere as a unifying, holistic concept for the earth system at a time when reductionism was the main driving motivation in scientific research. Another, as yet unpublished work entitled “The History of Natural Waters” also deserves similar attention. This book explores many concepts in hydrogeology, geochemistry, and especially biology in which water is described as an integral part of the biosphere. Vernadsky also adopted the concept of the ‘Noosphere’ to emphasis man's role in the biosphere as well as a powerful geological agent. His publications also foreshadow the development of WRI as a holistic discipline.