This is the term paper for the course AEP 6610, reviewing the techniques and development of environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM). The ESEM provides the ability to image samples down to nanometer scale without the necessity of high vacuum in the chamber and sample processing procedures. Therefore, samples can be imaged in its original hydrated state, preserving its dynamics, interior structures and morphology. Secondary electrons are collected to reveal the topology of the sample while backscattered electrons are collected to distinguish the element composition. In this paper, the resolution and limitations for ESEM are presented. The applications of ESEM on both organic and inorganic materials are discussed. Finally, future prospects an comparison with competing imaging technologies conclude the paper.