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.
While exploring for fossils with her father in the State College area in 2014, Penn State geobiology major Anna Whitaker discovered a fossil of a prehistoric starfish. The Whitakers brought the excavated fossil to the University to be analyzed. Mark Patzkowsky, professor of geosciences, identified the starfish as an ophiuroid, labelling it the first of its kind to be discovered in Centre County.
A student in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the Schreyer Honors College had the opportunity to spend her summer conducting independent research at a local dig site that she discovered. Watch video.
Rising sea levels caused by a warming climate threaten greater future storm damage to New York City, but the paths of stronger future storms may shift offshore, changing the coastal risk for the city, according to a team of climate scientists.
"Managing Risk in a Changing Climate," a documentary produced by Penn State's public television station WPSU in partnership with the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRIM), focuses on Louisiana and New Orleans and their efforts to create a master plan for future events.