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Cliffs above New River

Earth & Environmental Sciences

The integration of chemistry, biology, and physics applied to Earth and planetary systems

Our Goals
Professor and students on a boat on Lake Ontario

Taking Part in a First-of-its-kind Study

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Cerdas Formation

Studying Earth Structure, Formation, Climate, and Dynamics

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Exploring Global Environmental Issues

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Petrenko Ice Lab

Leading Faculty and Researchers

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Majors & Minors

Choose from geology, environmental science, environmental studies, and geomechanics.

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Graduate Studies

A variety of research choices allows students to specialize in one area, or explore a vast array of interdisciplinary studies.

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We specialize in geochemistry, environmental sciences, palaeomagnetism, geodynamics, geological structure and tectonics.

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Illustration of a cross-section of the ocean featuring Ediacaran fauna, including Dickinsonia, under water while an aurora shines in the sky.

Feature Story

Did a magnetic field collapse trigger the emergence of animals?

Evidence suggests a weak magnetic field millions of years ago may have fueled the proliferation of life.

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A headshot of Lee Murray on a blue background with his name, title, department and nomination.

Faculty in the News

Zero-Cost Hero: Lee Murray

When he was a student, Lee Murray, an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, benefited from courses that saved him money by using open-access readings and materials from the library. Now, Murray is paying it forward. His students appreciate his cost-effective approach so much that they nominated him to be among this year’s River Campus Libraries Zero-Cost Heroes.


Interested in geology and environmental sciences?

The department sponsors several seminars throughout the year, bringing notable speakers from around the country. Check out the seminar schedule for this year’s presentations.

Seminar Schedule


New Mineral Named After University Alumnus

Dave Mao, '66 MS and '68 PhD had a new mineral named in his honor.

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Mariya Cyriac

What do you enjoy most about U of R?

I really enjoy the facilities in U of R, especially the libraries (Rush Rhees Library). 

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Seismograph recording an earthquakeEarthquakes andVolcanoes
Ice Sampling at the Pakitsoq site, West GreenlandClimate andOcean Science
Students doing field workPlate Tectonics andPaleomagnetism

Have a question or need more information? Contact us.