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.

Integrative approach needed to protect crop biodiversity, researcher says
05/10/2017

In a commentary in the April issue of Nature Plants, Karl Zimmerer, professor of geography, argues that a comprehensive approach to protecting the human use of biodiversity of agricultural crops is vital to a sustainable food future that addresses global hunger, increasing populations and changing climate.


Graham and interdisciplinary team awarded PNAS Cozzarelli Prize
05/05/2017

A paper coauthored by Russell Graham, director of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Museum & Art Gallery and professor of geosciences, received the Cozzarelli Prize from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Each year, PNAS gives the award to the best published paper of outstanding scientific excellence and originality in the six broadly defined scientific areas of the National Academy of Sciences.


Outstanding faculty and students honored at annual College of EMS awards banquet
05/02/2017

The possibilities for the new field of two-dimensional, one-atomic-layer-thick materials, including but not limited to graphene, appear almost limitless. In new research, Penn State material scientists report two discoveries that will provide a simple and effective way to "stencil" high-quality 2D materials in precise locations and overcome a barrier to their use in next-generation electronics.


A fast, non-destructive test for two-dimensional materials
05/02/2017

Thinning a material down to a single-atom thickness can dramatically change that material's physical properties. For example, graphene, the best-known 2D material, has unparalleled strength and electrical conductivity, unlike its bulk form, graphite. Researchers have begun to study hundreds of other 2D materials for the purposes of electronics, sensing, early cancer diagnosis, water desalination and a host of other applications. Now, a team of Penn State researchers in the Department of Physics and the Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials (2DLM) has developed a fast, nondestructive optical method for analyzing defects in 2D materials.


Stenciling with atoms in two-dimensional materials possible
05/01/2017

The possibilities for the new field of two-dimensional, one-atomic-layer-thick materials, including but not limited to graphene, appear almost limitless. In new research, Penn State material scientists report two discoveries that will provide a simple and effective way to "stencil" high-quality 2D materials in precise locations and overcome a barrier to their use in next-generation electronics.


Measuring 'rhythms of Penn State' gives students preview of earthquake science
04/26/2017

A simple electronic device found in nearly every smartphone today is helping students learn about the science of earthquakes in one general education geosciences course, GEOSC 109, Earthquakes and Society. Taught by Charles Ammon, professor of geosciences, the course was designed to give students insight into how geoscientists understand earthquakes -- and, more generally, what's involved in conducting science.


Recent Penn State graduates earn wings in airborne research project
04/26/2017

Two recent Penn State graduates are taking part in the $30 million, NASA-funded Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America. The project is led by Penn State professor Ken Davis.


Professor invited to discuss combating climate change at national TED talk
04/24/2017

David Titley, professor of international affairs and of practice in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Penn State, will discuss the role the military could play in combating climate change during the TED 2017 conference. Titley will join seven other speakers from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. April 26 for Session 6: Planet, Protection, hosted by Chris Anderson, the owner of TED, a nonprofit organization that provides idea-based talks.


13 graduate students receive the Alumni Association Dissertation Award
04/24/2017

Thirteen graduate students received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award, Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal, in recognition of their outstanding professional accomplishment and achievement in scholarly research in any of the disciplinary areas of fine arts and humanities; social sciences -- applied and basic; physical and computational sciences -- applied and basic; life and health sciences; and engineering. The graduate students were honored during the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 18 at the Nittany Lion Inn.


McNair Scholar researches sustainability abroad, inspires children locally
04/19/2017

Amina Grant has spent much of her time as a Penn State undergraduate studying sustainability in the U.S., Jamaica and Peru, and using that research to make a positive impact on communities. And, other times, she has made a difference just by dressing as a superhero.