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.


Zena Cardman
Penn State graduate student selected for NASA astronaut program

Zena Cardman, a doctoral student in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was named a member of NASA's 2017 class of astronauts on June 7. Vice President Mike Pence joined NASA officials in introducing the 12 men and women during a ceremony at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Natalie Briggs, a graduate student studying materials science and engineering, won first place in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' (EMS) Graduate Student Poster Competition.
EMS Graduate Poster Competition showcases outstanding research across college

Graduate students Natalie Briggs, Joshua Woda and Nathan Smith received top recognition during the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Graduate Student Poster Competition on April 12 at Steidle Building on the University Park campus.

Lee Kump
Penn State faculty member named College of Earth and Mineral Sciences dean

Lee Kump, professor and head of the Department of Geosciences at Penn State, has been named the new dean of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, pending approval of the Penn State Board of Trustees on July 21. Kump will serve as interim dean from June 1 to July 20.

Geosciences professor Michael Arthur got his start with geosciences research at this location in the 1970s.
Generosity, ingenuity characterized geoscientist’s 40-year career

Geoscientist Michael Arthur's four-decade career was highly collaborative and unconventional. He will retire on June 30, leaving behind a legacy as an innovative researcher and a champion for budding scientists.

Alumni from the Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences board of directors pose for a photo.
Alumni mentoring program underscores dedication to improving student experiences

Alumni of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences volunteer their time to benefit students in the college in the numerous ways, the newest of which is an alumni-student mentoring program.