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 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.

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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

Images capture a year of exploration despite uncertainty

The fourth annual Stanford Earth Photo Contest drew images of a dramatic sunset, a menacing shark, an intriguing frog, and a perennial favorite – the Milky Way. The winners were selected among 101 submissions. 

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2022 is a 'crucial year' for Biden's climate agenda

Rob Jackson, Stanford professor and chair of the Global Carbon Project, comments on the future consequences if Democrats are not able to pass the Build Back Better Act to invest in clean energy. 

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California is suddenly snow-capped and wet. How long will it last?

Noah Diffenbaugh comments on the sudden wet trend in the California drought: “deficits have been so pronounced through so much of the state that it will take more than one normal year to overcome, and we don’t know how this year will ultimately play out. That said, it’s a very encouraging start."

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2022 promises climate extremes, but also a glimmer of hope for Californians

Aditi Shedshadri, Noah Diffenbaugh, Newsha Ajami and other California scientists share research-based insights about climate, water and more.

 

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