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Geological Sciences

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

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Latest News Related to Geological Sciences

Stanford’s 2021 NIAC fellows are working to bring sci-fi concepts to real space exploration

Two “out there” ideas from Stanford faculty have received NASA funding in hopes that they could drastically advance space exploration. Mathieu Lapôtre is co-PI on a project to increase robotic reach that could be used to explore Mars.

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U.S. asbestos sites made risky by some remediation strategies

Efforts to prevent human exposure to asbestos may be mobilizing the cancer-causing mineral so that it can reach water supplies, based on new findings about how the fibers move through soil.

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Ask the Admin: Kam Moler and Stephan Graham on new climate and sustainability school

In a podcast series hosted by The Stanford Daily, Dean Stephan Graham discussed the new climate and sustainability school and other topics affecting the Stanford community. 

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Baked meteorites yield clues to planetary atmospheres

The gases released from meteorite samples heated in a high-temperature furnace can tell scientists about the initial composition of the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets.

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Andres Marquez receives NSF fellowship

The geological sciences PhD student has been awarded a Graduate Research Fellowship from NSF to explore marine invertebrate body size changes in the fossil record.

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Breaking U.S. nuclear waste stalemate could be key to Biden’s climate goals

Stanford University experts are cautiously optimistic that the Biden administration can change the U.S. trajectory on nuclear waste, and they offer their thoughts on how it can be done.

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A plethora of planets with water-rich atmospheres?

New research suggests that hot, rocky planets in other solar systems could form and keep thick atmospheres full of water.

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New Stanford climate and sustainability school designed to achieve ambitious goals

Dean Stephan Graham and Nicole Ardoin presented an update on the structure of the new school at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 11th. The plans include a Sustainability Accelerator that will translate policy and technology solutions.

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Lessons from the Fukushima disaster 10 years later

A decade after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan, Stanford experts discuss revelations about radiation from the disaster, advances in earthquake science related to the event and how its devastating impact has influenced strategies for tsunami defense and local warning systems.

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Faculty deliberation supports proposals for new school focused on climate and sustainability

Stephan Graham, Noah Diffenbaugh, Sally Benson and Anjana Richards served as panelists at a recent Deliberative Polling event to discuss proposals for the new school focused on climate and sustainability. 

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Stanford part of national effort to support underrepresented minorities in postdoctoral programs

Page Chamberlain, DEI director Lupe Carrillo and former postdoctoral researcher Grace Bulltail discuss diversity and postdoc success in the context of the NSF-supported Research University Alliance collaboration.

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NASA backs concepts for deep-drilling Mars rover and interstellar-object probe

Mathieu Lapôtre is co-PI on a project to develop a long-reach crawling and anchoring robot with extendable manipulator arms to explore difficult terrains on other celestial bodies, with a focus on Martian caves.

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Geological sciences redesigns major in favor of fewer units and new core

The newly added flexibility in core courses allows for greater exploration of the major that typically isn’t covered in high school curricula, said Department Chair Kevin Boyce.

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Outer space is a treasure chest of gemstones

“We can form all sorts of gemstones potentially in space, as long as you have the right chemistry in the right temperature and conditions,” said Stanford Earth professor Wendy Mao.

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Are Martian landslides caused by underground salts and melting ice?

A new theory that helps explain geological and chemical processes on Mars also suggests the martian environment continues to be dynamic, with implications for both astrobiology and future human exploration of the Red Planet.

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Squeezing a rock-star material could make it stable enough for solar cells

A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell.

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