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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

Announcing the 2022 Global Health Seed Grant awardees

David Lobell has been awarded a 2022 Global Health Seed Grant from Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, along with several faculty members joining the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

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Four questions for Eric Lambin on the sand shortage

The Stanford geographer and environmental scientist discusses the sand shortage crisis and what it means for the future of the environment. (Source: Stanford News)

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How wildfire smoke affects your body and mind

In a Stanford study of hospitalizations near the 2018 Camp Fire, a week of heavy smoke exposure was linked to a five percent increased risk of preterm births.

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Climate-focused bill collapses as nation is gripped by impacts

“The political reality is that climate isn’t a top priority for Democrats,” says Earth system science professor Rob Jackson. “I think it means we will zoom past 1.5 C in a couple years and hurdle toward 2 C before we know it.”

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