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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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Stanford Earth graduates: Meet the planet’s challenges

Stanford Earth graduates are uniquely prepared to deliver solutions for humanity’s critical challenges, according to Dean Stephan Graham.

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Plan to reclassify radioactive nuclear waste spurs anger

Yucca Mountain has suffered from "technical and political disagreement" for decades, says Rod Ewing of Stanford. "There's an understandable pressure to do something with at least some of the waste." Navigate to Plan to reclassify radioactive nuclear waste spurs anger

Venus is Earth's evil twin, and space agencies can't resist its pull

“There is growing realization within the exoplanet community that Venus is the best analogue in the Solar System for many of the rocky exoplanets we have found,” says geological sciences professor Laura Schaefer. Navigate to Venus is Earth's evil twin, and space agencies can't resist its pull

America the beautiful

Geological sciences professor George Hilley discusses teaching "Our National Parks," a two-unit course that includes a weekend field trip to Pinnacles National Park and helps undergraduates build relationships with the land.

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Camping through Stanford

Sarayu Pai writes in The Stanford Daily about her experience taking "GEOLSCI 5: Living on the Edge," a one-unit weekend field trip along the Pacific coast that teaches students about local geology.

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The Washington Post features play co-created by Stanford Earth PhD

"The Manic Monologues" is a confessional play co-produced by geological sciences PhD candidate Zack Burton that aims to destigmatize mental illness. 

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Largest delta plain in Earth's history discovered in Arctic

"The Triassic delta plain system build across this shelf region is truly vast," says Stanford Earth professor Elizabeth Miller, commenting on a new study of deposits now located in the Barents Sea.

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Haikus About Space/Make Science Less Tedious/So Hope Scientists

Geological sciences PhD candidate Zack Burton's is featured for distilling presentations into poems. Poetry, he says, is a perfect way to convey science in the internet age. Like everything else online, “poems are bingeable.”

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Stanford Earth faculty receive HAI 2019 Seed Grants

Jef Caers, Kate Maher, Roz Naylor and Rob Dunbar received funding for research projects that use AI to support humanity, foster collaborations and help to guide the future of AI.

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Radioactive beads may reveal how Fukushima's meltdown unfolded

Microscopic particles unleashed by the nuclear plant's explosions may pose an under-recognized health risk – a discovery that has been not very welcomed in Japan, says Rod Ewing of Stanford Earth.

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Rescuing geologic and climate records

Postdoctoral researcher Daniel Ibarra recently traveled to the Philippines to collect cave deposits that are considered key to understanding changes in climate during ancient times.

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The deep ocean spawned Earth's first complex organisms

Scientists have long wondered why the planet's first complex organisms emerged in the cold, dark depths of the ocean, where food and sun are in short supply. Stanford Earth's Erik Sperling and Tom Boag have an answer.

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The first large complex organisms evolved in the deep ocean

Stanford Earth's Tom Boag and Erik Sperling may have uncovered an important piece of the Ediacaran-Cambrian puzzle which could help piece together the missing links of the evolution of all life on Earth.

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Earth's first life-forms played it cool in deep ocean

People always ask why they’re here on Earth. A study by Stanford Earth's Tom Boag and Erik Sperling suggests it could be because the deep ocean stays the same temperature and our single-cell ancestors liked to keep things simple.

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Why deep oceans gave life to the first big, complex organisms

Why did the first big, complex organisms spring to life in deep, dark oceans where food was scarce? A new study finds great depths provided a stable, life-sustaining refuge from wild temperature swings in the shallows.

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Q&A: What should we do with nuclear waste?

Nuclear security expert Rod Ewing discusses new recommendations for solving the U.S. nuclear waste problem, why conventional risk assessments don’t go far enough and what makes this challenge more difficult than putting a man on the moon.

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