UCR’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences focuses on research and education about Earth dynamics and history, planets inside and outside or our solar system, and life in the universe. Students and faculty investigate geological processes operating at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales and our research interests span many disciplines within the Earth and Planetary Sciences.






Latest News Articles

Pioneering UC Riverside geoecologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences
"Marilyn Fogel, a University of California, Riverside endowed geoecology professor, received one of the highest honors in science this week with her election to the National Academy of Sciences, or NAS. Membership in the NAS is rare. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are 6.9 million scientists in the U.S.…
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Carbon monoxide detectors could warn of extraterrestrial life
Carbon monoxide detectors in our homes warn of a dangerous buildup of that colorless, odorless gas we normally associate with death. Astronomers, too, have generally assumed that a build-up of carbon monoxide in a planet’s atmosphere would be a sure sign of lifelessness. Now, a UC Riverside-led research team is arguing the…
Read More »aboutFor some distant worlds, carbon monoxide may actually be compatible with a robust microbial biosphere
Superbloom? If you say so
Southern California is having a great wildflower year but is it really a superbloom? "The term ‘superbloom’ is a media construct with no botanical or ecological origin,” said Cameron Barrows, an associate research ecologist at UC Riverside’s Center for Conservation Biology.  Richard Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at UC…
Read More »aboutSuperbloom is a term concocted by the media, but this year’s wildflowers are still spectacular, especially for the creatures that depend on them
New NASA research consortium to tackle life's origins
Did life on Earth originate in Darwin's warm little pond, on a sunbaked shore, or where hot waters vent into the deep ocean? And could a similar emergence have played out on other bodies in our solar system or planets far beyond? These questions lie at the center of research in NASA's new Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Earth…
Read More »aboutNASA is uniting experts across multiple disciplines to investigate life's beginnings on our planet—and to explore if and how life sprung up elsewhere in the universe

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