Stanford University
Men in raft

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 a strong graduate research program across a broad range of environmental and Earth science disciplines for students working toward a doctoral degree. 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.

Navigate to item

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.

Navigate to item

Stanford Geospatial Center

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

Navigate to item

Earth system science news

The best stove for your health and the environment

TIME magazine feature covers the harmful health and climate effects of natural gas stoves and possible solutions based on a study led by Rob Jackson's research group.

Navigate to The best stove for your health and the environment

What should Southern Californians expect this fire season?

"We're starting the season in a severe drought heading into the warm part of the year, and we know that the kinds of severe heat waves that have really amplified fire risk in recent years are much more likely now than they were previously in California's history," says Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh. 

Navigate to What should Southern Californians expect this fire season?

Thinking beyond the academic degree

A new certificate program provides a framework for Stanford Earth graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to learn new skills, gain practical experience, and produce portfolio pieces that will broaden their professional preparedness. The program will be carried into the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

Navigate to Thinking beyond the academic degree

The energy requirements of a good life are surprisingly low

“People in countries like the U.S. are starting to ask what all this extra stuff filling our lives gets us. The answer appears to be very little, perhaps nothing," says Rob Jackson on excessive energy use levels around the world. 

Navigate to The energy requirements of a good life are surprisingly low
IconsList of icons used on the sitemaillinkedindouble carrot leftarrow leftdouble carrotplayerinstagramclosecarrotquotefacebooktwitterplusminussearchmenuarrowcloudclock