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

What to expect from wildfire season this year and in the future

The new normal for Western wildfires is abnormal, with increasingly bigger and more destructive blazes. Understanding the risks can help communities avert disaster.

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Does climate change cause armed conflict?

As global temperatures climb, the risk of armed conflict is expected to increase substantially. Extreme weather and related disasters can damage economies, lower farming production and intensify inequality.

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Finding and fixing natural gas leaks quickly and economically

Natural gas leaks claim lives, damage the climate and waste money. Research teams at Stanford are working on better ways to find and fix gas leaks quickly and inexpensively.

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How deep-ocean vents fuel massive phytoplankton blooms

A new study suggests vents in the seafloor may affect life near the ocean’s surface and the global carbon cycle more than previously thought. 

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