Department of Geosciences

The Department of Geosciences pursues fundamental, cutting–edge and strategic research in areas of the geosciences that have great societal impact and educates students for careers that advance the forefront of knowledge in the geosciences. It focus on development and management of natural resources, assessment of natural hazards, understanding of processes that modify the Earth’s surface and how they respond to natural and anthropogenic forces, and investigation of the habitability of Earth and other planets in the past, present and future. View the information below to learn more.

Department of Geosciences - Pushing the Frontiers of Research

An international leader in the geosciences, Penn State University is pushing the frontiers of research. With new instruments and new, cutting-edge techniques, students and researchers are addressing societal relevant problems that will sustain us all into the future.


Students studied the science behind the land and water of San Salvador, an island district of the Bahamas
Students take in sights, science of San Salvador during spring break

Tropical paradises such as San Salvador Island, Bahamas, are a frequent spring break destination for college students. But for students in a Penn State marine biogeochemistry course, the spot is teeming with research projects related to the physics, chemistry, biology and geology of the coastal region.

Penn State exoplanet center celebrates 10-year anniversary

To commemorate its 10th anniversary, Penn State's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds (CEHW) will host a celebration on April 2, with three sessions of talks and panel discussions for technical, academic and public audiences. 

Chess pieces
Decision makers need contextual interactive guidance

Researchers investigating an interactive program using trade-off diagrams that would lead decision makers in the right direction, allow compromises, but not dictate the results.

Fossils show recovery from extinction event helped shape evolutionary history

Researchers found the recovery period following the second largest extinction on record, some 444 million years ago, had a bigger evolutionary impact than the extinction event itself on brachiopods, shelled, clam-like animals that once dominated the sea floor.

Stephen Mainzer, assistant teaching professor at Penn State, meets with community members from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
Team earns seed grant to develop solutions to river flooding

Klaus Keller, professor in the Department of Geosciences, and Robert Nicholas, associate research professor with the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, are among a team that has received funding to develop community-based solutions to river flooding in Pennsylvania.