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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Events related to Earth system science

Earth system science news

An A.I. solution to climate models’ gravity wave problem

Stanford scientists are among a growing number of researchers harnessing artificial intelligence techniques to bring more realistic representations of ubiquitous atmospheric ripples into global climate models

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Concrete is worse for the climate than flying. Why aren’t more people talking about it?

“Cement emissions have grown faster than most other carbon sources,” says Stanford Earth system science professor Rob Jackson, adding that the climbing emissions can largely be tied to increased manufacturing in China.

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Cement carbon dioxide emissions quietly double in 20 years

“Our primary focus needs to be on fossil fuel use because that’s where most emissions come from,” says Stanford professor Rob Jackson. “I don’t think cement is on most policymakers’ radar.”

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Paula Welander receives Stanford Earth Excellence in DEI Award

The award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond their role to create a more inclusive, just, and welcoming community at the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

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