Research Areas - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University Skip to main content

Research Areas


Atmospheric Sciences

We study extreme weather, climate change, and their impacts on both ecosystems and modern society.

Testing the water

Environmental Geoscience

We use biology, chemistry, geology, and physics to understand how the Earth System supports such a diversity of life and how human behavior is impacting this system.

Geodata Science Initiative

Data science is the fourth and the newest paradigm of science. In Geodata Science Initiative, we conduct transdisciplinary research, merging or articulating EAPS subject matters with technical areas in data science: statistical and machine learning methods and models, algorithms for the models and methods, and computational environments for data analysis.

Mountain ranges

Geology and Geophysics

We study the processes that shape our planet, from the building of mountains and oil-bearing sedimentary basins, to the flow of warm rocks and cold glaciers, to the triggering of earthquakes.

Spacecraft mission

Planetary Science

We study the evolution of the solar system and how planets evolve over time due to impacts, tectonics, and atmospheric processes, with an eye to the potential for past and future habitability.

Research News

Asteroid Will Skim Earth Closer Than Moon On February 2: Will It Hit Planet?


A near-Earth asteroid called 2020 SO, which was first observed last year, will make its closest approach to the planet on Feb. 2 at around 5:42 p.m. EST, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Even after his passing, Dr. Jay Melosh's works are cited in current publications about asteroids.

With the world’s temperature rising, the Earth’s permafrost areas are particularly vulnerable


Permafrost is defined as ground that has been frozen for at least two consecutive years. With the Earth’s temperature steadily rising, the impacts on permafrost have been unclear but also an area of concern for climate scientists. In last few decades, permafrost underneath boreal ecosystems has started to degrade due to climate warming. The degradation rate in response to the warming remains unclear.

Full Steam Ahead Podcast Episode 86 – Asteroid Research


Purdue University‘s connection to space exploration doesn’t stop with astronauts. Former NASA employee, and current assistant professor, Dr. Michelle Thompson is passionate about studying asteroid samples, and is in the middle of some incredible research on some samples that were recently returned to earth. On the latest episode of Full Steam Ahead: A Podcast About Purdue, FOX59’s Adam Bartels talks with Thompson about her research, her passion behind it, as well as its importance, her involvement with the Hayabusa2 science team, and more!

Water World: Arizona Scientists on New Evidence, Questions About Life on Mars


Dr. Mike Sori, assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University, is cited in this article about water and the possibility of life on Mars.

Q&A with Aaron Goldner: From climate researcher to senior policy advisor


On Capitol Hill, the day-to-day business of government works because of smart, hardworking people with a passion for public service—people like Purdue alumnus, Dr. Aaron Goldner. Back in 2013 you could find Goldner at one of West Lafayette’s coffee houses, chugging through lines of code. His graduate research focused on understanding what forcings (e.g., carbon dioxide, the Antarctic Ice Sheet, the El Niño Southern Oscillation) were critical in altering past climates and whether the scale of these forcing could be quantified to better predict future climate change. After earning his PhD from Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences that summer, Goldner headed to Washington, DC as an AGU-AAAS Congressional Science Fellow working in the Senate and at the Department of Energy, and he's been there ever since. He is currently senior advisor on energy and transportation policy in the Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. PCCRC's Rose Filley caught up with Goldner to talk about his work on the Hill.

All Departmental News

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