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 News

A calling from the mountains

With a career that balances mountaineering, teaching, and research, Hari Mix uses his background in Earth systems and geology to reconstruct past climates, examine mechanisms producing extreme precipitation, and teach the next generation of students about the planet.

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Evolution of symbiosis

DNA data from more than 3,300 species reveals how lichens stayed together, split up, swapped partners and changed form over 250 million years. 

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Stanford Earth Young Investigators high school internship program goes virtual

Stanford Earth’s summer internships have been redesigned to an online lecture series, exposing more local high school students to research in environmental sciences than ever before.

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Perseverance will seek signs of life on Mars

According to Stanford University Mars experts, NASA’s latest Martian rover will drive a wave of exciting discoveries when it lands on the Red Planet – and possibly alter scientists’ understanding of the blue one it launches from.

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