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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

Evidence that Mars Used to Have a Ring


Mars only has two moons: Phobos and Deimos. They’re strange, for moons, little more than lumpy, potato-shaped chunks of rock. They’re much too small for self-gravitation to have made them round. And one of them, Deimos, has an unusually tilted orbit. What does that slight tilt tell us about Deimos? About Mars?

Graduating during a pandemic: spotlight on Robert Wayne Swisher


The graduating class of 2020 will now be known as the graduates of COVID-19. Typically, graduates would be having face to face interviews with their future employers, mingling within a huge hall full of proud family members at Commencement, hanging out with the friends they’ve made during college, and taking their last classes lecture halls. Instead, they are taking Zoom meetings for classes and having virtual commencements while adhering to the new norm of social distancing. Robert Wayne Swisher, a 2020 graduate, details what it is like to graduate during a pandemic.

Meet Amanda Rudolph, NSF grant recipient


Career paths aren’t always clear or immediate. Amanda Rudolph mapped out hers after enrolling in a geology class on a whim — her first step toward a promising future in planetary science. Rudolph has now earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her work with the Mars rover.

Laura Pyrak-Nolte selected to receive award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists


Laura Pyrak-Nolte, has been selected to receive the Society's Reginald Fessenden Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. This award is given to a person who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics. She developed a fluid flow vs elastic stiffness function that is an important contribution, as it provides a fundamental relation between two important and often measured properties. This relation, coupled with knowledge of fracture surface properties, provides a promising approach for inferring fluid flow properties from seismic data in fractured rock. The award will be given in Houston, TX this October.

Humidity and heat extremes are on the verge of exceeding limits of human survivability, study finds


Researcher Matthew Huber contributes to this The Washington Post article. He and others discuss how humans will be able to survive extremes in humidity and heat.

All Departmental News

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