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. We 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.

News

Research symposium
Research symposium honoring three EMS emeritus professors slated for Sept. 11
09/07/2017

A research symposium honoring three earth and mineral sciences emeritus professors will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 11, in the Atherton Hotel's Vanderbilt Room in State College, Pennsylvania. The symposium will feature speakers discussing the impact of the careers of Michael Arthur, professor emeritus of geosciences; Terry Engelder, professor emeritus of geosciences; and Turgay Ertekin, professor emeritus of petroleum and natural gas engineering.


Virginia Marcon, a doctoral candidate in geosciences and co-president of the group WE ARE for Science, talks to children.
WE ARE for Science fields questions from inquiring kids, adults at Grange Fair
09/05/2017

As rows of tents dotted the countryside, the Grange Fair offered a chance to get back to more simple times. But for members of the group WE ARE for Science, it was a chance to shape the future of science policy, education and public outreach. About 40 members of the group recently spent a day at the fair fielding questions from kids and parents alike, in areas such as astronomy, entomology and geosciences at their "Ask a Scientist" event.


High altitude balloons
NASA Space Grant project livestreams eclipse from near-space
08/18/2017

Millions will be watching Monday, Aug. 21, as the moon eclipses the sun, darkening a large swath of the United States. People from Oregon to South Carolina will witness a total eclipse, a rare phenomenon not seen in the U.S. since 1979. Others in the continental U.S. and beyond will be treated to a partial eclipse. But if you can't make it outside Monday, you'll still have a chance to witness something special -- a livesteam featuring videos and photos of the eclipse from high above the Earth.


Fossil in rock
For EMS students, Denver trip offers glimpse of life during, after dinosaurs
08/09/2017

In a weekend, imagine walking the earth before the time of dinosaurs, then during the period in which they roamed, and finishing your walk long after their demise. For students in a geobiology (Geosc 204) course that culminates with a field trip to the Denver Basin, that's the story that's told in the exposed rocks of Dinosaur Ridge, Green Mountain, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and backstage visits to a nearby museum.


Field research
Institutes of Energy and the Environment seed grant recipients announced
08/04/2017

The 2017 Institutes for Energy and the Environment (IEE) seed grants have been awarded to a pool of interdisciplinary researchers at Penn State. Thirteen grants totaling more than $312,000 have been awarded to 42 researchers that addressed four of IEE's five research themes: Climate and Ecosystem Change, Future Energy Supply, Smart Energy Systems, and Water and Biogeochemical Cycles.