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Earth System Science

Understanding how our planet works

Our goal is to understand, predict, and respond to human-caused and natural environmental change at local to global scales. Scientists in our Earth System Science department offer strong graduate research programs across a broad range of environmental and Earth science disciplines for students working toward master's and doctoral degrees. Undergraduate and coterminal master's degrees are offered through the closely-related and popular Earth Systems Program.

Research groups in Earth system science

Learn more about our faculty labs and research groups ranging from ocean biogeochemistry to soil science and geohydrology.

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Shared analytical facilities

Students and faculty start their examination of specimens in our comprehensive Earth Materials Preparation lab. Our shared labs offer everything from gas, liquid, and solid analyses to isotopic analysis for geochronology and deciphering (bio)geochemical processes.

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Stanford Geospatial Center

Housed in Branner library, the center offers workshops on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), data management, visualization tools, and spatial analysis.

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Earth system science news

Satellite data can reveal fire susceptibility in peatlands

Fires in Southeast Asian peatlands release huge amounts of carbon, along with deadly smoke. Now, new satellite measurements of soil moisture may offer a promising approach to reducing those fires and their widespread haze.

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Democrats are divided on using nuclear energy to stop climate change

Although the safety of it is "actually quite good," Rob Jackson says, “nuclear energy is out of fashion.” 

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The hotter the planet grows, the less children are learning

“This is a well-researched and trustworthy [study] design for understanding the causal effects of changes in things like temperature on economic outcomes,” says Marshall Burke on a new study on the effects of temperature and learning.

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Gabrielle Wong-Parodi receives NAS early-career award

The assistant professor of Earth system science has been awarded a 2019 Early-Career Research Fellowship by the National Academies' Gulf Research Program.

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