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.


Seismic station in West Antarctica - part of the POLENET network of GPS and seismic stations
Rapidly rising bedrock may help delay Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse

The bedrock beneath West Antarctica is rising rapidly in response to the ongoing ice melt of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, according to an international team of researchers, who indicated that their results have important implications for estimating future ice sheet stability and projections of ice mass losses.

Three new co-funds join Institutes of Energy and the Environment
Three new co-funds join Institutes of Energy and the Environment

Three faculty members recently joined the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) in three different areas of expertise. Two are in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, and the other is in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. 

Penn State Old Main
Penn State announces fixed-term faculty promotions, effective July 1, 2018

The following is a list of fixed-term faculty promotions at Penn State, effective July 1.

 The Penn State team that took third place at the international Imperial Barrel Award Competition
Geosciences students again dominate at Imperial Barrel Award Competition

Penn State students again finished near the top worldwide in the Imperial Barrel Award Competition, which pits more than 100 teams against one another in an exercise to assess the petroleum potential of a given geographic basin.

A Marcellus Shale gas drilling well site near Wellsboro, Pa.
Bradford Co. water quality improves; impacts rare near shale gas wells

A new study of groundwater in a rural Pennsylvania county shows only rare instances of possible gas contamination amid an overall trend of improving water quality despite heavy Marcellus Shale development.