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.

Data driven dialogue: Scientists bring groups together on water quality concerns
01/31/2018

Shale Network, a team of scientists studying water quality around Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania, has spent the last six years fostering a dialogue between concerned citizens, watershed groups, government regulators and representatives from large energy companies around water quality data in the state. The team published a paper in the journal Science last week discussing the impacts of its project.


Doctoral student melds passions for science, helping others in FEMA job
01/26/2018

As an emergency management specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Association, Adrienne Kramer is applying her geography skills to build maps, analytical tools and other resources to help the agency improve its response and recovery operations.


Microbes may help astronauts transform human waste into food
01/25/2018

Human waste may one day be a valuable resource for astronauts on deep-space missions. Now, a Penn State research team has shown that it is possible to rapidly break down solid and liquid waste to grow food with a series of microbial reactors, while simultaneously minimizing pathogen growth.


Century of data shows sea-level rise shifting tides in Delaware, Chesapeake bays
01/24/2018

The warming climate is expected to affect coastal regions worldwide as glaciers and ice sheets melt, raising sea level globally. For the first time, an international team has found evidence of how sea-level rise already is affecting high and low tides in both the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, two large estuaries of the eastern United States.


Petroleum and natural gas student among elite leaders at global conference
01/22/2018

Being an elite student in an elite program at Penn State affords some elite opportunities. For Andrew Vislosky, a senior majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State, it meant being one of eight students worldwide granted an all-expenses-paid trip to the Oil & Money Conference recently held in London.


Elsworth, Liu among 15 named distinguished faculty at Penn State
01/22/2018

Penn State's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs has named 15 distinguished faculty.


Wilf named Paleontological Society Fellow for commitment to research, students
01/18/2018

In graduate school Peter Wilf published his first paper in the journal Paleobiology. So, the geosciences professor said being named a Fellow of the Paleontological Society, which publishes the journal, was an extra special honor.


GEOlab researchers shaping future of energy, disaster forecasting
01/17/2018

Never has the world been better positioned to predict and respond to natural disasters. The stream of data at our fingertips is seemingly endless. But the size of this mounting trove of information in itself poses a problem. For example, running flood calculations for a city facing heavy rains using a century of data is highly accurate. But the calculation is useless if it takes days or weeks to compute.


Drones let researchers monitor changes in volcanoes, plan virtual field trip
01/12/2018

Penn State geosciences researchers are investigating an active volcano that could pose a hazard to millions of people in Nicaragua. Masaya volcano is located in an active volcanic and seismic zone and is nearby Managua, Nicaragua's capital. The researchers are using many methods, including drones, to study how the volcano and surrounding earth are changing over time. The drones are able to capture high-quality video footage and travel to places inaccessible to humans. 


Titley to chair new advisory committee for National Academies
01/11/2018

David W. Titley, professor of practice in meteorology, professor of international affairs, founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State and retired rear admiral, U.S. Navy, was appointed chairman of the advisory committee for the National Academies' new Climate Communications Initiative.