Stanford University
Earth

Discovering Our Planet

Pushing the boundaries of what we know about Earth

At Stanford Earth scientists and students push the boundaries of knowledge about Earth's evolution and how it functions: from its interior dynamics and ocean processes to characteristics of the atmosphere, and more. Their research covers a breadth of areas such as paleontology, biogeochemistry, and the structure and movement of Earth's crust. That work is essential to our understanding of both ancient and modern concerns from medieval plagues to earthquake dynamics, climate change, and the occurrence of natural resources. 

Are we in a "sixth mass extinction"?

Stanford paleontologist Jonathan Payne puts modern extinction in context by comparing it with Earth's five previous mass extinctions. Watch.

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Navigating the guts of an ancient submarine canyon

Geological Sciences professors Stephan Graham and Don Lowe take us into an exposed submarine canyon at Point Lobos, CA, to understand how rock sediments  inform oil resource exploration. Watch.

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Meet some of the faculty who discover our planet

Paula Welander
Paula Welander

Assistant Professor of Earth System Science

Page Chamberlain
Page Chamberlain

Professor of Earth System Science

Karen Casciotti
Karen Casciotti

Associate Professor of Earth System Science

George Hilley
George Hilley

Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

anne dekas
Anne Dekas

Assistant Professor of Earth Systems

Elizabeth Miller
Elizabeth Miller

Professor of Geological Sciences

Related research news

Biodiversity loss in warming oceans

A fossil study from Stanford University finds the diversity of life in the world’s oceans declined time and again over the past 145 million years during periods of extreme warming. Temperatures that make it hard for cold-blooded sea creatures to breathe have likely been among the biggest drivers for shifts in the distribution of marine biodiversity.

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Higher levels of nitrate in drinking water linked to preterm birth, study finds

Women exposed to higher levels of nitrate in drinking water were more likely to deliver very early, according to a study of 1.4 million California births.

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Local impacts from fracking the Eagle Ford

Stanford scientists simulated the local risk of damaging or nuisance-level shaking caused by hydraulic fracturing across the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas. The results could inform a new approach to managing human-caused earthquakes.

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