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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

Summer reading: Illuminating our planet and paths toward sustainability

Faculty at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recommend these 24 books for your summer reading.

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Stanford Earth dean urges graduates: Turn challenges into opportunities

Graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have the knowledge and skills to create an environmentally just and sustainable world for everyone, according to Dean Stephan Graham.

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The first footprints on Mars could belong to this geologist

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, Geological and Environmental Sciences BS ’10, is at the forefront of a new crop of space explorers destined for the Moon, and maybe one day, Mars.

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Hunting down clues to Earth's early molten days

Scientists are still trying to piece together how Earth transformed from a molten planet to one with living creatures walking around on its silicate mantle and crust. Hints lie in the strange ways materials behave under extreme temperatures and pressures.

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High schoolers co-author paleobiology study with Stanford researchers

A cohort of the Stanford Earth Young Investigators program helped advance our understanding of the relationship between the body size and circulatory systems of marine animals over a vast time frame.

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Fossil captures plants in transition

“It’s rare to get this many sporangia with well-preserved spores that you can measure,” said Andrew Leslie, referring to a new species of ancient plant. “We just kind of got lucky in how they were preserved.”

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New ancient plant captures snapshot of evolution

Researchers have discovered an ancient plant species whose reproductive biology captures the evolution from one to two spore sizes – an essential transition to the success of the seed and flowering plants we depend on.

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NASA’s new rover is headed to the perfect spot to hunt for life on Mars

Mathieu Lapôtre shows the targeted landing site for NASA's Perseverance rover may be a great place to look for signs of life.

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Promising signs for Perseverance rover in its quest for past Martian life

New research indicates river delta deposits within Mars’ Jezero crater – the destination of NASA’s Perseverance rover on the Red Planet – formed over time scales that promoted habitability and enhanced preservation of evidence.

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Stanford celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day

Stanford scholars, including faculty at Stanford Earth, detail some of the major environmental success stories of the past half century and reflect on important milestones.

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'A bad time to be alive': Study links ocean deoxygenation to ancient die-off

Researchers present new evidence that the deoxygenation of the ocean wiped out biodiversity during one of the “Big Five” mass extinctions in Earth’s history – relevant information as climate change contributes to decreasing oxygen in the oceans today.

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Four researchers receive 2019 AGU Outstanding Student Paper Awards

Tyler Kukla, Chayawan Jaikla, Indraneel Kasmalkar, and Anna Broome have been honored with 2019 OSPAs from the American Geophysical Union.

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What other planets can teach us about Earth

Scientists exploring space are bringing back insights about Earth’s deep past, its complicated relationship with life and our planet’s future.

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How did marine animals become so diverse?

Upending an evolutionary theory proposed in the 1950s, scientists have found that the groups most resistant to extinction also contain the greatest ecological diversity – their members perform a larger number of different functions in ecosystems.

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Scientists find way to make diamonds quickly and easily

Stanford Earth's Rodney Ewing and Wendy Mao help discover a new way to create diamonds by "cheating" thermodynamics.  

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A better way to build diamonds

With the right amount of pressure and surprisingly little heat, a substance found in fossil fuels can transform into pure diamond.

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