Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

Becoming the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in 2023

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Miller

Understanding our planets and their history

Our students and geoscientists study the properties of minerals, rocks, soils, sediments and water, using multiple lenses -- stratigraphy, paleobiology,  geochemistry, and planetary sciences. Their work informs our understanding of natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods. It helps us meet natural resource challenges through environmental and geological engineering, mapping and land use planning, surface and groundwater management, and the exploration and sustainable extraction of energy and minerals.  It also helps us answer fundamental questions about the origin, history, and habitability of planets.

Geological Sciences Events

Geological Sciences News

Defending Europe’s largest nuclear plant from becoming the next Chernobyl

“[What’s] not so well-appreciated is you need a well-trained force of technical people running the reactor,” explains Stanford nuclear security expert Rodney Ewing. “If their work is disrupted, if they’re kept captive, or if they’re not allowed to rest, as was the case at Chernobyl, that is a major concern."

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Capturing high pressures in diamond capsules

Scientists have created diamond capsules that can entrap other phases and preserve high pressure conditions even after returning the capsules to low pressure. The technique mimics the process in nature where diamonds can have inclusions that are only stable at high pressure.

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New Stanford EJ course explores local heavy metal contamination

The Geoscience of Environmental Justice course enables students to engage with the EPA community and work to asses and problem solve the heavy metal contaminants issue that is negatively impacting the population. 

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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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