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.


Deepwater Horizon oil rig
Oil biodegradation inhibited in deep-sea sediments

Degradation rates of oil were slower in the dark and cold waters of the depths of the Gulf of Mexico than at surface conditions, according to an international team of geoscientists trying to understand where the oil went during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Study sheds new light on forests' response to atmospheric pollution

How forests respond to elevated nitrogen levels from atmospheric pollution is not always the same. While a forest is filtering nitrogen as expected, a higher percentage than previously seen is leaving the system again as the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, say researchers.

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.