Stanford University
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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

Stanford Earth's Eric Lambin awarded major environmental prize

Earth system science professor Eric Lambin has been honored with the 2019 Blue Planet Prize, an award widely considered the Nobel Prize for science that contributes to solving global environmental problems.

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The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

The fear of political suicide should not paralyze those in power from studying the how, where and why of managed retreat, says Katharine Mach.

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Stop building a spaceship to Mars and just plant some damn trees

Rob Jackson offers his perspective on recent research: “I get uneasy when we start talking about managing billions of extra acres of land, with one goal in mind: to store carbon.”

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Best way to fight climate change? Plant a trillion trees

Chris Field comments on a study, saying the calculations make sense, "but the question of whether it is actually feasible to restore this much forest is much more difficult.”

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