Mono Lake, CA (Jozi)

About Us



The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California at Riverside offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Geology, Earth Sciences and Geophysics. These B.S. degree programs are designed for students with a strong interest in various aspects of the Earth and Planetary sciences. The geology programs in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences place substantial emphasis on fieldwork with field courses, field trips in all appropriate courses (including dedicated field courses), and excursions between quarters. The Riverside campus is ideally situated within a day's drive of exposures of nearly the entire stratigraphic succession and some of the most outstanding field localities in the world.

The Department offers a M.S. and Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Graduate Programs section. The graduate research programs available within the department span the full range of research areas, from detailed studies of Earth geology, climate, and oceanography, to the study of planets and physical processes in the solar system, to the search for other planets and signatures of life elsewhere in the universe. The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences has a commitment to learning geology in its natural context - which means that our program provides hands-on opportunities, with a focus on fieldwork. The Department offers a program built around the core research areas listed below, and these strengths are reflected at all levels across the curriculum.

One of the strengths of the department is the diversity of active lines of research that our faculty and specialist are currently actively pursuing. With the current renovations in the Geology building and updated facilities, Earth and Planetary Science students have access to world-class laboratory facilities. Disparate interests within the department are connected in several areas of research emphasis.


  • Planetary Science and Astrobiology
    • Investigations of Venus and Mars, including their atmospheric evolution
    • Detection of exoplanets and studying exoplanet demographics
    • Orbital dynamics and stability
    • Studying solar planets as exoplanet analogs
    • Modeling exoplanetary atmospheres and interiors
    • Quantifying factors that influence planetary habitability
    • Detection of biosignatures in planetary atmospheres
  • Organic and Paleoenvironmental Evolution
    • Paleoecology of evolutionary radiations: Neoproterozoic/Cambrian, Ordovician, Tertiary
    • Biogeochemistry of ancient and modern environments
    • Early Paleozoic, Tertiary, and Recent biogeography
    • Deposition and geochemical control of organic-rich rocks
    • Precision in biostratigraphic and lithostratigraphic correlation
    • Fire ecology
    • Stratigraphic and geochemical record of the biosphere in the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian
    • Evolution of developmental mechanisms
    • Temporal resolution in the stratigraphic record
    • Evolutionary paleoecology
  • Earthquake Processes and Geophysics
    • Observational, experimental, and numerical studies of faulting
    • Neotectonics and structural geology
    • Petrology, geochemistry, geothermics
    • Volcanology
    • Remote Sensing
  • Global Climate and Environmental Change
    • Deciphering the record of climate change in the Sierra Nevada's
    • Understanding global and regional drivers for climate change
    • Isotopic studies of modern glacial lakes, Quaternary lake cores and alpine soils
    • Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Cenozoic through ancient glacial deposits
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