MRI lab

Institutes and Centers

One of the hallmarks of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is our long history of interdisciplinary collaboration and research. Our researchers bring expertise from different segments of the scientific community and work together to bring new perspectives to existing scientific conversations. Please visit our research institutes, centers, and laboratories to learn more.

Institutes

  • Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI) — one of the nation’s leading institutes in earth and environmental sciences research. EESI's diverse and world-renowned faculty members are engaged in interdisciplinary, innovative, and collaborative research on some of the most compelling problems and issues of our time
  • EMS Energy Institute — a leading research and development organization focused on energy science and engineering
  • John A. Dutton e-Education Institute — as the learning design unit for the college, the Dutton Institute designs, develops and manages online courses and programs in the college’s five academic departments, and supports EMS faculty in the delivery of resident instruction offerings

Centers and Laboratories

  • Air and Precipitation Chemistry Lab — conducts air chemistry research in regional air quality, the atmospheric effects of aircraft, and chemistry’s role in global change
  • Appalachian Basin Black Shale Group — a program devoted to the investigation of the properties, microstructure, geochemistry, sedimentology, and stratigraphy of the Marcellus Formation and Utica Shale across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York
  • Baker Hughes Production Lab
  • Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center — brings together the campus-wide expertise in energy storage, fosters collaboration, and provides a focal point for research and education activities spanning from materials to cells to systems
  • Center for Climate Risk Management — brings together scholars to catalyze transformative, integrated research on climate change, mitigation, adaptation, and decision making that transcends disciplinary boundaries and advances real-world climate risk management
  • Center for Computational Materials Design — educates scientists and engineers with a broad, industrially relevant perspective on engineering research and practice, preparing them to contribute in the emerging field of materials design.
  • Center for Dielectric Studies — provides international leadership and train next-generation scientists in the fundamental science and engineering that underpin dielectric and piezoelectric materials
  • Center for Environmental geoChemistry and Genomics — promotes cross-disciplinary research and teaching in the area of environmental geochemistry and genomics through analytical, computer, and field work
  • Center for Environmental Informatics — develops technology solutions that leverage environmental information for decision making resource management, and broader applied use
  • Center for Geomechanics, Geofluids & Geohazards — offers an interdepartmental experience in rock and fluid physics through laboratory experiments, field observations, theoretical analysis, and mathematical modeling
  • Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) — a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing technology of metallic and advanced material systems for critical applications in industry.
  • Center for Landscape Dynamics — promotes scholarship and training in landscape science to inform landscape decision making and socio-ecological resilience
  • Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST)  — serves as the centralized organization for oceanography and marine science at Penn State
  • Center for Nanoscale Science — supports collaborative, interdisciplinary research efforts in the area of nanoscale materials with research themes focused broadly on areas like nanomaterial synthesis and fabrication, complex oxide thin films, and multicomponent assemblies for collective optical and electronic functions
  • Center for Research on Advanced Fiber Technologies — fosters collaborative research on new phenomena and applications of programmable smart composite fibers that could be transformed into high impact functional textile products in medicine, automobile, energy, biotechnology, and cosmetic industries
  • Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE) — promotes research and education to protect people, infrastructure, and institutions from the broad range of hazards confronting society today.
  • Center for Solutions to Weather & Climate Risk — advances the science of exploiting environmental opportunities and understanding environmental impacts to manage risk
  • Center for Sustainable Electric Power Systems — addresses the multitude of challenges that emerge from the design, planning, and operation of the next generation of power systems and markets by bringing together Penn State faculty from the fields on engineering, economics, earth sciences, and other relevant disciplines
  • Center for Quantitative Imaging — focuses on two main areas of research – monitoring of internal processes in experimental systems and characterization of complex three-dimensional structure and material composition in natural and synthetic systems – using state-of-the-art instrumentation
  • Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials — offers a unique integrated research education to graduate and undergraduate students by conducting leading international and multidisciplinary research on 2D layered materials using state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Chevron Lab
  • ChoroPhronesis — research focus is on space/environments and how humans think about them, interact with them, represent them, and change them
  • Cloud and Aerosol Experimentation Lab — investigates important microscale phenomena that contribute to the formation and properties of clouds and aerosols
  • Earth System Science Center — describes, models, and understands the Earth’s climate system through critical studies
  • Electrochemical Engine Center — conducts fundamental and applied research on fuel cells and advanced batteries for electric propulsion, stationary power generation, and portable electronics through multidisciplinary research on cutting-edge electrochemical power devices
  • Geoinformatics and Earth Observation Lab — develops new computational methodologies and cyberinfrastructure solutions for the analyses of geospatial big data, with a focus on problems with high impact to society such as environmental hazards and renewable energy
  • GeosyntheSES Lab — studies the human-earth systems of agrobiodiversity, food, land use, climate change, livelihoods, sustainability, and political ecology to contribute to the knowledge, understanding, and communication of policy-relevant science and scholarship
  • GeoVISTA Center — coordinate integrated and innovative research in geographic information science, with an emphasis on geovisualization
  • Gould Center for Geograpy Education and Outreach — supports the University’s mission of instruction, research, and service through excellence in cartography
  • Human Factors in GIScience Lab — GeoVISTA Center, the laboratory is devoted to advance the understanding of how humans cognize geographic space
  • Hydrology Laboratory and Fluids Laboratory — researches permeability testing of rock and soil samples and strength testing of granular materials and fluid flow and flame demonstration experiments
  • Landscape Ecology at Penn State (LEAPS) — focuses on understanding how ecosystems change in space and time to inform landscape-level research and management
  • Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) — coordinates and facilitates programs of research and outreach at Penn State to address the complete range of issues presented by development of the Marcellus Shale and other gas shales
  • Materials Characterization Lab — seeks to apply a breadth of collective expertise to engage in research without boundaries, and thereby create a new generation of highly qualified graduates who can both communicate and innovate in a converging technological world
  • Materials Computational Center — supports Penn State faculty working in computer-based simulations of materials across the various length and time scales
  • Micrometeorology Lab — focuses on activities to advanced understanding of the surface-atmospheric interactions responsible for the transport of energy and trace gases in the lower atmosphere
  • Mining Engineering Laboratories — equipped with professional surface mining software, a rock mechanics laboratory, and a ventilation laboratory
  • Nanofabrication Laboratory — allows research into materials and device characterization utilizing the most advanced techniques available at the nanoscale level
  • Penn State Astrobiology Research Center — focuses on enabling the recognition of signatures of life on the early Earth in extreme environments and in extraterrestrial settings
  • Penn State Ice and Climate Exploration — is a diverse group of Penn State researchers with a common interest in the cryosphere
  • Penn State Lab for Analysis of Culture and Environment — facilitates collaborative learning, research, and training among graduate students doing research in human geography
  • Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium — expands opportunities for Pennsylvanians to learn about and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space programs by supporting and enhancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach programs
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Laboratories — facilities include production, rock, and fluid properties cement laboratories and a drilling rig simulator
  • Polar Center — fosters understanding, awareness, and appreciation of the polar regions through outreach, education, and research
  • Riparia — conducts, facilitates, and coordinates interdisciplinary research, monitoring, and training regarding wetlands and related resources, with an emphasis on mid-Atlantic and northeastern states
  • Rock and Sediment Mechanics Laboratory -  research is focused on the physics of earthquakes and faulting and the mechanics of frictional sliding
  • Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory — conducts research that promotes the understanding of how a forested, first-order catchment of shale bedrock evolves over multiple time scales in a temperate climate
  • Sustainable Climate Risk Management — an interdisciplinary team of scholars at 19 universities and five research institutions across 6 nations that seeks to develop sustainable, scientifically sound, technologically feasible, economically efficient, and ethically defensible climate risk management strategies
  • University Coalition for Basic and Applied Fossil Energy Research and Development (UCFER) - Coalition was established to advance basic and applied fossil energy research through mechanisms that promote collaboration among the Department of Energy (DOE) and member universities by the coordination of research and the sharing of data
  • Vegetation  Dynamics Lab — focuses on identifying the causes and consequences of vegetation change in ecological communities from both a theoretical and applied perspective
  • Water Institute 

University-level Institutes

  • Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa (AESEDA) -- serves as a coordinating body that promotes Penn State engagement in Africa through programs that integrate research with education, while improving the human condition and enhancing economic vitality for African populations
  • Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences -- strengthens research in the life sciences, preparing students for successful careers, and encouraging new perspectives across disciplinary boundaries
  • Institute for the Arts and Humanities -- brings together innovative work in the arts and humanities, and the artists and humanists involved with these projects, to engage in discussion and debate about what it means to be human
  • Institute for CyberScience -- supports and promotes interdisciplinary research, providing the resources, funding, training, and support that researchers need to solve the world's problems with big data and high-performance computing methods
  • Institute for Natural Gas Research (INGaR) -- brings together one of the largest contingents of natural gas experts in the United States to conduct research into the broad area of natural gas, ranging from exploration to production to utilization
  • Institutes of Energy and the Environment -- fosters and facilitates interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration to positively impact important energy and environmental challenges
  • Materials Research Institute -- seeks to apply a breadth of collective expertise to engage in research without boundaries, and thereby create a new generation of highly qualified graduates who can both communicate and innovate in a converging technological world
  • Social Science Research Institute -- seeks to foster research that addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels by bringing together researchers from different disciplines
  • Sustainability Institute -- integrates sustainability into the University's research, teaching, outreach, and operations that prepares students, faculty, and staff to be sustainability leaders in their professional, personal, and civic lives