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

The science behind earthquakes

A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts on where and how earthquakes happen, why prediction remains elusive, advances in detection and monitoring, links to human activities, how to prepare for "The Big One," and more.

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U.S. corn crop increasingly sensitive to drought

New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate. However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly, according to a new study that could help identify ways to reverse the trend.

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Accessible healthcare as climate solution

Making high-quality care accessible to local and Indigenous communities was correlated with a 70 percent reduction of deforestation in an Indonesian national park. By offsetting healthcare costs, the community-designed program reduced incentives for illegal logging.

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AI detects hidden earthquakes

Tiny movements in Earth’s outermost layer may provide a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the physics and warning signs of big quakes. New algorithms that work a little like human vision are now detecting these long-hidden microquakes in the growing mountain of seismic data.

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