Stanford University
Death Valley

Geological Sciences

The study of our planet and its neighbors, from their deep interiors to the surface, and through their multi-billion year history.

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

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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Stanford Earth graduates: Stay engaged, remain hopeful, keep learning

More than any class before, the 2022 graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences are prepared to navigate uncertainties in the pursuit of a life that brings happiness and meaning, according to Dean Stephan Graham.

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Small nuclear reactors won't avoid the problem of radioactive waste

So-called small modular reactors are promoted as less expensive and cumbersome than conventional light-water reactors. Research led by former postdoctoral scholar Lindsay Krall with Stanford nuclear security expert Rodney Ewing suggests the volume and chemistry of the waste they produce may pose safety challenges.

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Small modular reactors produce high levels of nuclear waste

Small modular reactors, long touted as the future of nuclear energy, will actually generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants, according to research from Stanford and the University of British Columbia.

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