Within the Department of Earth Sciences, our diverse specialties are unified under a common desire to understand the underlying processes that shape the planet whether that be erosion, mantle convection, hydrothermal reactions, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. We are also intrigued by how life has evolved and adapted on our planet throughout geologic time, and how life interacts with the larger Earth system. Our mission is to educate and train a future generation of earth scientists, advance our current understanding of the Earth system through scholarship and research, and serve as a resource to the university and broader community on topics related to our planet.

Faculty walking on ridge

Faculty Research Areas

The Department of Earth Sciences is home to world-class scientists whose research focuses on the physical, chemical, and biological evolution of our planet. Our proximity to the Cascade volcanoes, along with the tectonic complexity of the western North American margin, motivates numerous individual and collaborative studies, many of which benefit from on-site access to cutting-edge analytical, experimental, and computational facilities. Many of our projects are funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the US Geological Survey. Our faculty focus their research on four broadly defined groups:

Our Research Facilities

Oregon Hazards Lab

Condon Fossil Collection

Experimental Petrology Laboratory

Departmental Computing Facility

Microanalytical Facility

Stable Isotope Laboratory

High Performance Computing Cluster

Price Science Commons Research Library

Researcher looking through fossils

Explore Published Research

Browse the latest Earth science research from our world-class faculty and students, or attend our weekly seminar to hear scientists from top universities presenting about their discoveries.

Faculty repelling down mountain

Making Oregon Disaster-Resilient

Natural hazards are an inevitable part of life in Oregon. But with better data and more forewarning, emergency responders could quickly and effectively address imminent threats. The Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) is working towards that mission, leading the installation of sensors that monitor hazards and environmental conditions at key locations around the state.

Read More About OHAZ

Interdisciplinary Research

Many of our faculty members collaborate on environmental science research with faculty from other departments across the UO. Learn more about their interdisciplinary work.

Environmental Sciences at UO


January 10, 2024
EARTH SCIENCES - What will happen if a massive earthquake reduces the Pacific Northwest to rubble? The nation’s first subduction zone earthquake hazards center, CRESCENT, brings together researchers and policymakers to help build resilience against the inevitable temblor—and increase diversity in the Earth sciences.
December 20, 2023
EARTH SCIENCES, DATA SCIENCE - Clark Honors College senior and data science major Lynette Wotruba took up data science three years into her college career. Today, she’s working with the Department of Earth Sciences to make information about the dangers of tsunamis accessible to communities along the Oregon coast.
December 20, 2023
EARTH SCIENCES - The Oregon Hazards Lab is a research lab within the UO’s Department of Earth Sciences, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Its mission is to detect, monitor and mitigate natural and human-caused hazards, such as earthquakes and wildfires.