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.


Shale play
Rolling Reading Series lecture rescheduled for Jan. 31

The Mary E. Rolling Reading series lecture by Penn State professors Julia Spicher Kasdorf and Steven Rubin originally scheduled for Jan. 24 will now take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Paterno Library's Foster Auditorium.

Thermus scotoductus cells
A microbial hot spring in your basement

Microbes that thrive in some of the most extreme places on Earth have discovered another cozy place to live -- inside homes across the United States.

Bearded ladies
Gallery: The Bearded Lady Project

Middle and high school students recently toured the Bearded Lady Project exhibit in the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery. View gallery.

Bearded Ladies exhibit
The next generation: Students learn about opportunities for women in geosciences

Dozens of middle and high school students from across Pennsylvania recently spent a day at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State learning about women in geosciences.

Outcrops in Pakistan
Fires fueled spread of grasslands on ancient Earth

Ancient wildfires played a crucial role in the formation and spread of grasslands like those that now cover large parts of the Earth, according to scientists at Penn State and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.