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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

Unwrapping Uranus and its icy secrets: What NASA would learn from a mission to a wild world


THE CONVERSATION — "Many in the space community – like me – are urging NASA to launch a robotic spacecraft to explore Uranus. Indeed, the 2023 decadal survey of planetary scientists ranked such a journey as the single highest priority for a new NASA flagship mission. This time, the spacecraft would not simply fly by Uranus on its way somewhere else, as Voyager 2 did. Instead, the probe would spend years orbiting and studying the planet, its 27 moons and its 13 rings," explains Dr. Mike Sori, of Purdue EAPS, in a piece he penned for The Conversation.

Scientists look at pyrite isotopes on the ocean floor in a whole new light


Beneath the ocean floor, layers of sediment tell a story of hundreds of millions of years of environmental change. However, this story has taken a surprising turn. Scientists for the past several decades assumed that sulfur isotopes in pyrite (commonly referred to as “fool’s gold”) could be used to transcribe the history of the oxidation state of the Earth’s oceans. But in a shocking twist, scientists have learned that local conditions on the sea floor are what really controls pyrite sulfur isotopes. “We found that bulk pyrite sulfur isotopes are dominantly controlled by local conditions on the seafloor, such as the rate of sediment accumulation, porosity and permeability, and organic matter concentration,” says Dr. Roger Bryant from Purdue University College of Science. “This discovery should fundamentally change how bulk pyrite sulfur isotopes are used by the scientific community.”

Distinguished and Named Professorship Ceremony honors faculty, administrators


PURDUE NEWS — The eighth annual Distinguished and Named Professorship Ceremony on Monday (Nov. 13) celebrated midcareer, distinguished, and named professors and administrators at Purdue for their accomplishments and successes. Dr. Matthew Huber, of Purdue EAPS, was named the David E. Ross Director of the Purdue Institute for a Sustainable Future, Science.

Purdue honors researchers with Seed for Success Acorn Awards


PURDUE UNIVERSITY NEWS — Purdue on Wednesday (Nov. 1) honored more than 100 researchers with the university’s prestigious Seed for Success Acorn Awards for 2021-'23. The award recognizes Purdue principal investigators and co-investigators who obtain their first research grants with external funding of $1 million or more for a single proposal. Purdue EAPS professors Dr. Michelle Thompson and Dr. Roger Wiens were awarded for 2023 and Dr. Laura Pyrak-Nolte was awarded for 2022.

How and Why Do Violent Tornadoes Form?


SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE — Watching as the helicopter hovered within maybe a half-mile of the twister was Dr. Robin Tanamachi, who was a kid growing up in Minneapolis at the time. “We were seeing all this really beautiful interior vortex structure,” she says. “I was just absolutely hooked on that, and I know I was not the only one.” Today, Tanamachi is a research meteorologist at Purdue University, and one of many researchers delving into twisters’ mysteries, searching for details about their formation that may bolster future forecasts.

All Departmental News

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