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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Understanding Planet Earth and its interrelated processes is complex. How has it evolved? Why are there earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain chains, continents and oceans? What can we learn about climate variability? And most important, what can we do with this knowledge?

The study of Earth sciences combines experiential learning, interdisciplinary study and a culture of innovation and discovery.

Coursework will provide you the basis for:

  • Understanding natural hazards.
  • Assessing climate variability and global change.
  • Predicting the migration of man-made pollutants.
  • Exploring the energy and mineral resources upon which society depends.
  • The nature of our planet and insights into some of humanity’s deepest questions.

In addition to coursework, you can take advantage of extensive field and extracurricular opportunities and gain hands-on experience. Work with a faculty member on a research project, participate in an intensive field study or join the Geology Club.

Faculty have diverse interests in the nature of our planet and are heavily committed to research and education in these fields:

  • Solid earth sciences
  • Paleoclimatology
  • Water resources

Field-based research brings faculty and students to every continent on the planet to collect observational data. State-of-the art laboratory and computing facilities allow for sophisticated analytical and numerical study of Earth systems. You’ll be broadly trained in field work, geochemical and geophysical methods, quantitative analysis and professional skills.

As a scholar-scientist, you’ll be prepared and sought-after by employers. Graduates are well placed in academic, government and private sector positions. They are prepared for careers in:

  • Geology
  • Hydrology
  • Paleontology
  • Oceanography
  • Climate and environmental sciences.

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Books by Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

  • Fission-Track Thermochronology and its Application to Geology

    Fission-Track Thermochronology and its Application to Geology

    Fission-Track Thermochronology and its Application to Geology (Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment), by Marco G. Malusà (Editor), Paul G. Fitzgerald (Editor), Springer; 1st ed. 2019 edition (July 14, 2018), 393 pp., ISBN-13: 978-3319894195

  • Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust

    Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust

    Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust, by Jeffrey A. Karson (Author), Deborah S. Kelley (Author), Daniel J. Fornari (Author), Michael R. Perfit (Author), Timothy M. Shank , Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 21, 2015), 430pp., ISBN-13: 978-0521857185

  • Reconstructing Earth's Deep-Time Climate

    Reconstructing Earth's Deep-Time Climate

    Reconstructing Earth's Deep-Time Climate, Edited by Linda Ivany and Brian Huber, Paleontological Society Jan 2012, 262 Pages

Recent News

Hydrothermal vent

Hydrogen-Hungry Microbes

posted on: June 1, 2020

Jeffrey Karson, the Jessie Page Heroy Professor of Earth Sciences, finds important connection between geological and biological processes.

Latest Publications

Lossada, A., L. Giambiagi, G. Hoke, P.G. Fitzgerald, J. Mescua, J. Suriano, A. Aguilar, 2020. Detrital thermochronology reveals major middle Miocene exhumation of the eastern flank of the Andes predates the Pampean flat-slab (33º-33.5ºS) Tectonics. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019TC005764

Wright, L. J. M., Muirhead, J. D., & Scholz, C. A. (2020). Spatiotemporal variations in upper crustal extension across the different basement terranes of the Lake Tanganyika Rift, East Africa. Tectonics, 39, e2019TC006019. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019TC006019.

Shillington, D. J., Scholz, C. A., Chindandali, P. R. N., Gaherty, J. B., Accardo, N. J., Onyango, E., et al., (2020). Controls on rift faulting in the North Basin of the Malawi (Nyasa) Rift, East Africa. Tectonics, 39, e2019TC005633. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019TC005633.

Malusà, M.G. and P.G. Fitzgerald, 2020. The geologic interpretation of the detrital thermochronology record within a stratigraphic framework, with examples from the European Alps, Taiwan and the Himalayas. Earth Science Reviews v. 201, 103074. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2019.103074