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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences


Our environment is under enormous stress. The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary department that recognizes the urgency of the challenges, and the enormous opportunities that may lead to transformative change. We have award-winning faculty in climate science, biodiversity, environmental policy, land use, and community outreach – all driven by a collective interest in our environmental future. Students are encouraged to join our faculty in their research.


                      Tour Our Research Labs  


Student Experience

Research Highlight

Our Research Opportunities 

Name Area
Dr. Mara Brady Sedimentology & Stratigraphy, Taphonomy, Quantitative Stratigraphic Methods, Paleobiology
Dr. Robert Dundas Paleontology, Faunal Analysis, Paleoecology, Biostratigraphy, Mass Extinctions, Quaternary Mammals.
Dr. Aric Mine Biogeochemistry, Environmental Science, Geobiology.
Dr. Christopher J. Pluhar Engineering and Environmental Geology (especially landslides); Tectonics; Paleomagnetism; Geochronology.
Dr. Keith Putirka California wildfires and forest management, mantle melting and volcanic plumbing systems; mineral-melt equilibria, with applications to barometry and thermometry of igneous processes.
Dr. Mathieu Richaud Paleoceanography, global biogeochemical cycles, micropaleontology (foraminifera). 
Dr. John Wakabayashi Tectonics, Structural Geology, Geomorphology, Metamorphic Petrology, Engineering and Environmental Geology.
Dr. Zhi (Luke) Wang Surface and subsurface hydrology, contaminant hydrogeology, water resources and irrigation engineering, watershed modeling, GIS.
Dr. Beth Weinman Fluvial and Deltaic Quaternary Geology, Hydrogeology, Geochemistry, Soil Formation, and Optical Luminescence Geochronology.

The EES Department's research facilities and equipment mainly includes:

  • Malvern MasterSizer 3000 Particle Size Analyzer
  • Panalytical X'Pert Pro XRD
  • Rigaku Primus IV XRF
  • Hydrologeology lab
  • Sample preparation lab
  • Electronic mapping lab
  • Fully equipped distance learning instructional lab
  • Microscope equipment for petrography study
  • Thin Section preparation lab
  • Column Leaching Equipment for solute transport experiments
  • Paleomagnetism lab (Agico JR6 spinner magnetometer, Applied Physics single axis 280mT alternating field demagnetizer, Schoenstedt thermal demagnetizer and peripherals)
  • MiniTrase TDR for soil moisture measurement
  • CR5000 datalogger for simultaneous measurements of up to 5,000 sources
  • EZ Chem analyzer for water quality analysis
  • LISST-portable laser particle size analyzer (Sequoia Scientific, Inc.)
  • WP4-T DewPoint PotentiaMeter
  • Quelph Infiltrometer for field test of infiltration rate and hydraulic conductivity
  • Field vehicles and trailers, etc.
  • Geophysical survey equipment (Sensors and Software PulseEKKO GPR, ERT, Seismic Refraction)
  • Trimble GNSS GPS
  • Mavic Phantom Pro Drone