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.

Two-dimensional materials gets a new theory for control of properties
10/19/2017

Desirable properties including increased electrical conductivity, improved mechanical properties, or magnetism for memory storage or information processing may be possible because of a theoretical method to control grain boundaries in two-dimensional materials, according to Penn State materials scientists.


Secretary of energy spotlights Penn State-industry rare-earth-elements project
10/17/2017

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry highlighted the national importance of a new Penn State-industry collaboration during a recent visit to a Jeddo Coal Company mine in Ebervale, Pennsylvania. Along with Rep. Lou Barletta, of Pennsylvania's 11th district, Perry spoke at a press conference about the collaboration, which aims to extract rare resources from coal. The project is funded by the Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).


Wang wins outstanding young researcher award at carbon dioxide conference
10/13/2017

Xiaoxing Wang, an associate research professor in Penn State's Earth and Mineral Sciences Energy Institute, received the Outstanding Young Researcher Award at the 15th International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization, held July 17-21 in Shanghai, China.


Organic/inorganic sulfur may be key for safe rechargeable lithium batteries
10/11/2017

We have come a long way from leaky sulfur-acid automobile batteries, but modern lithium batteries still have some down sides. Now a team of Penn State engineers have a different type of lithium sulfur battery that could be more efficient, less expensive and safer.


How a Penn State partnership reshaped science education
10/06/2017

The Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP) is a program funded by the National Science Foundation designed to help Pennsylvania science teachers build upon their understanding and teaching of big ideas in Earth and space science. The $9 million initiative was aimed at reshaping the teaching and learning of Earth and space science in Pennsylvania.


Science communication focus of 2017 Lattman Lecture given by meteorology alumnus
10/03/2017

Jim Steenburgh, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah and Penn State alumnus, will give the 2017 Lattman Visiting Scholar of Science and Society Lecture. His talk, titled "Communicating Science in the 21st Century: Personal and Political Challenges and Opportunities," will be held from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6, in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum on the ground floor of Deike Building. The event is free and open to the public.


Future of electric vehicles to be discussed on WPSU’s 'Digging Deeper' on Oct. 8
09/29/2017

Penn State President Eric J. Barron will welcome professor Chao-Yang Wang and graduate fellow Ryan Longchamps from the Penn State BEST Center to discuss the advancements in lithium battery technology and the future of electric vehicles during the next episode of WPSU's "Digging Deeper." The show will air at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8 on WPSU-TV.


Baka awarded fellowship to study impact of petrochemical plant on community
09/27/2017

Jennifer Baka, assistant professor in the department of geography, has been at Penn State for a little more than a year, but she has a lifetime of experience assessing the implications of energy. She grew up in a coal mining region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and watching the relationship a rural community has with a global enterprise factored into her choice to become an energy geographer. It's a field that combines political and industrial ecology to look at how energy projects impact all segments of society.


Researchers take tips from 'Twister' to chase elusive storm data
09/20/2017

Some great ideas are born out of years of painstaking research. Others are gleaned from the plotline of the movie "Twister."


Research grant to help students learn what goes on beneath Earth's surface
09/19/2017

Getting to the core of the problem of teaching young students about the dynamic Earth is the impetus of a four-year, $2.8 million grant awarded to Penn State Associate Professor Scott McDonald.