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Becoming the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences in 2023

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Latest News Related to Geological Sciences

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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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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Sebastian Perez-Lopez receives 2022 AIPG Scholarship Award

The award encourages student engagement in the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the largest organization committed to promoting geology as a profession. 

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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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Thinking beyond the academic degree

A new certificate program provides a framework for Stanford Earth graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to learn new skills, gain practical experience, and produce portfolio pieces that will broaden their professional preparedness. The program will be carried into the new school focused on climate and sustainability.

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To find alien life, scientists are unlocking mysteries of Saturn moon Titan

After modeling Titan's landscape, researchers led by Stanford geologist Mathieu Lapôtre found the moon exhibits a special type of sedimentary process called sintering, which means neighboring grains smash together and fuse into a bigger, stronger piece that's less destructible by wind.

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Massive conservation effort

California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

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Scientists model landscape formation on Titan, revealing an Earth-like alien world

A new hypothesis reveals that a global sedimentary cycle driven by seasons could explain the formation of landscapes on Saturn’s moon Titan. The research shows the alien world may be more Earth-like than previously thought.

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Hardy new forests could keep the Austrian Alps from crumbling into landslides

Geologist George Hilley comments on the approach taken by scientists who simulated landslide risks in the Austrian Alps under various climate scenarios in order to better prepare and adapt for future landslides.  

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Snowpack changes how a California volcano 'breathes'

A Stanford University study suggests the weight of snow and ice atop the Sierra Nevada affects a California volcano’s carbon dioxide emissions, one of the main signs of volcanic unrest.

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Exploring subduction zone geohazards on land and at sea

Stanford Earth professor George Hilley and coauthors write about a new initiative bringing together scientists to address fundamental questions about subduction zone geohazards, using the latest advances in observation technology and computational resources.

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Hot springs reveal where continental plates collide beneath Tibet

By analyzing the chemistry of over 200 geothermal springs, researchers have identified where the Indian Plate ends beneath Tibet, debunking some long-debated theories about the process of continental collision.

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