Orange Alert

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 and;
  • 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
Recent News
Orphaned oil well pump in farm field.

(June 27, 2023)

A New Way Forward for Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

EES Professor Tao Wen collaborates on a project evaluating the environmental risks and opportunities for managing millions of abandoned oil and gas wells.

Mills River in Pisgah National Forest North Carolina.

(June 12, 2023)

A Machine Learning Approach to Freshwater Analysis

Researchers at Syracuse University and Texas A&M use computer modeling to find out the sources of salinization and alkalinization in U.S. watersheds.

Melissa Chipman holding a freshly extracted sediment core from an Alaskan Lake.

(May 19, 2023)

Testing Boreal Forests’ Blood Pressure

A&S professor Melissa Chipman was awarded National Science Foundation grant funding to study the ancient geochemistry of Arctic forests to understand interactions between boreal fire and climate change.

Lu presenting the seafood dish to Mike and Susan Thonis.

(May 11, 2023)

What's Cooking? Culinary Creations with a Scientific Twist

Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Zunli Lu combines his passion for research and cooking. The results are tasty, science-inspired dishes.

Latest Publications

Pohl, A., Lu, Z., Lu, W. et al. Vertical decoupling in Late Ordovician anoxia due to reorganization of ocean circulation. Nat. Geosci. 14, 868–873 (2021).

Baldwin, S.L., Schönig, J., Gonzalez, J.P., Davies, H., von Eynatten, H., Garnet sand reveals rock recycling processes in the youngest exhumed high- and ultrahigh-pressure terrane on Earth, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jan 2021, 118 (3) e2017231118;

Woda, J., Wen, T., Lemon, J., Marcon, V., Keeports, C.M., Zelt, F., Steffy, L.Y. and Brantley, S.L., 2020. Methane concentrations in streams reveal gas leak discharges in regions of oil, gas, and coal development. Science of The Total Environment.

Nachlas, W., Baldwin, S., Thomas, J., & Ackerson, M. (2020). Investigation of N in Ammonium-bearing Silicates with Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA). Microscopy and Microanalysis, 26(S2), 42-43. doi:10.1017/S1431927620013203

Ana C. Lossada, Julieta Suriano, Laura Giambiagi, Paul G. Fitzgerald, Greg Hoke, José Mescua, Ana Tedesco, Guadalupe Arzadún, Sofía Bordese, (2020), Cenozoic exhumation history at the core of the Andes at 31.5°S revealed by apatite fission track thermochronology, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Volume 103,

Hopper, E., Gaherty, J. B., Shillington, D. J., Accardo, N. J., Nyblade, A. A., Holtzman, B. K., Havlin, C., Scholz, C. A., Chindandali, P. R. N., Ferdinand, R. W., Mulibo, G. D. & Mbogoni, G., Preferential localized thinning of lithospheric mantle in the melt-poor Malawi Rift. Aug 1 2020, In : Nature Geoscience. 13, 8, p. 584-589