Field Research

Research News

Read the latest news about research conducted by investigators in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Our faculty and students are continually advancing technology, creating solutions and expanding knowledge with new and innovative research.

Argentine fossils take oak and beech family history far into Southern Hemisphere
06/06/2019

One of the world's most important plant families has a history extending much farther south than any live or fossil specimen previously recorded, as shown by chinquapin fruit and leaf fossils unearthed in Patagonia, Argentina, according to researchers.


Earliest flaked-stone tools found in Ethiopia
06/03/2019

The origin of flaked-stone tool production is older than 2.58 million years ago, according to an international team of scientists working at the Bokol Dora 1 archaeological site in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Previously the oldest evidence of flaked-stone tools was younger than 2.58 million years ago.


Adding a carbon atom transforms 2D semiconducting material
05/24/2019

A technique that introduces carbon-hydrogen molecules into a single atomic layer of the semiconducting material tungsten disulfide dramatically changes the electronic properties of the material, according to Penn State researchers who say they can create new types of components for energy-efficient photoelectric devices and electronic circuits with this material.


Measuring methane from coal and gas in Pennsylvania informative
05/23/2019

While methane pollution caused by natural gas production in Pennsylvania is underestimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas still has half the carbon footprint of underground coal mining, according to an international team of researchers.


Substrate defects key to growth of 2D materials
05/09/2019

Creating two-dimensional materials large enough to use in electronics is a challenge despite huge effort but now, Penn State researchers have discovered a method for improving the quality of one class of 2D materials, with potential to achieve wafer-scale growth in the future.


Federal research significant in environmental rule-making 16
04/30/2019

Federally sponsored science plays a more significant role in bringing together stakeholders and facilitating environmental governance debates than all other types of research, according to an international team of researchers.


Human encroachment alters air quality over Amazon rainforest
04/25/2019

Plumes of air pollution generated from a rapidly expanding city within the Amazon rainforest are wafting hundreds of miles and degrading air quality in the pristine rainforest, according to a team of scientists.


Earth and Mineral Sciences graduate students recognized at research exhibition
04/23/2019

wo graduate students in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were recognized for their research and presentation skills during the 2019 Graduate Exhibition, hosted by the Graduate School at Penn State in March.


Study finds global action needed to ensure acceptable climate futures
04/16/2019

Ensuring a tolerable climate future, one that reduces warming while considering the costs, requires immediate global action, according to an international team of scientists.


Predictability limit: Scientists find bounds of weather forecasting
04/15/2019

In the future, weather forecasts that provide storm warnings and help us plan our daily lives could come up to five days sooner before reaching the limits of numerical weather prediction, scientists said.