University of California, Riverside

Earth Sciences

Department of Earth Sciences

About Us

what we do

The Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California at Riverside offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Geophysics. These B.S. degree programs are designed for students with a strong interest in various aspects of the Earth sciences. The programs in the Department of Earth 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 Geological Science in the Graduate Programs section. A common theme across the Department of Earth Sciences is our commitment to learning geology in its natural context - which means that our program is strongly hands-on, 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 the 25 faculty and specialist are currently actively pursuing. With the current renovations in the Geology building and updated facilities, Earth Science students have access to world class laboratory facilities. Disparate interests within the department are connected in several areas of research emphasis.

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


More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Earth Sciences Information

Department of Earth Sciences
Geology Building

Tel: (951) 827-3182
Fax: (951) 827-4324