Stanford University
Earth

Discovering Our Planet

Pushing the boundaries of what we know about Earth

At Stanford Earth scientists and students push the boundaries of knowledge about Earth's evolution and how it functions: from its interior dynamics and ocean processes to characteristics of the atmosphere, and more. Their research covers a breadth of areas such as paleontology, biogeochemistry, and the structure and movement of Earth's crust. That work is essential to our understanding of both ancient and modern concerns from medieval plagues to earthquake dynamics, climate change, and the occurrence of natural resources. 

Are we in a "sixth mass extinction"?

Stanford paleontologist Jonathan Payne puts modern extinction in context by comparing it with Earth's five previous mass extinctions. Watch.

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Navigating the guts of an ancient submarine canyon

Geological Sciences professors Stephan Graham and Don Lowe take us into an exposed submarine canyon at Point Lobos, CA, to understand how rock sediments  inform oil resource exploration. Watch.

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Meet some of the faculty who discover our planet

Paula Welander
Paula Welander

Assistant Professor of Earth System Science

Page Chamberlain
Page Chamberlain

Professor of Earth System Science

Karen Casciotti
Karen Casciotti

Associate Professor of Earth System Science

George Hilley
George Hilley

Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

anne dekas
Anne Dekas

Assistant Professor of Earth Systems

Elizabeth Miller
Elizabeth Miller

Professor of Geological Sciences

Related research news

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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Pervasive health threats of unregulated battery recycling

A new study in Bangladesh finds that a relatively affordable remediation process can almost entirely remove lead left behind by unregulated battery recycling – and raises troubling questions about how to effectively eliminate the poison from children’s bodies.

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Sulfur plays a role in the ocean carbon cycle, study finds

The results suggest a possible feedback that could help trap carbon in the ocean’s low-oxygen zones, but the impact on climate change remains unclear.

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The shifting burden of wildfires in the United States

Wildfire smoke will be one of the most widely felt health impacts of climate change throughout the country, but U.S. clean air regulations are not equipped to deal with it. Stanford experts discuss the causes and impacts of wildfire activity and its rapid acceleration in the American west.

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