Welcome! Climate, biogeochemical cycles, and planetary tectonics are the three basic processes that shape the environment. Geoscientists face a unique challenge in seeking to understand the complexity of the Earth's physical and biogeochemical systems. The surface environment of the Earth is controlled by interactions between the deep Earth, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere. These interactions occur on timescales ranging from picoseconds for chemical reactions on mineral surfaces to the billions of years over which plate tectonic processes and biological evolution have radically altered the composition of the atmosphere. Princeton’s Department of Geosciences is at the forefront of scientific discovery in the solid earth, the environmental geosciences and oceanography/climate science. Our faculty and students address critical societal issues, such as climate change and geologic hazards, through research and education at all levels. Our mission is to understand Earth’s history and its future, the energy and resources required to support an increasing global population, and the challenge of sustainability in a changing climate. Interested in coming to Geosciences for graduate school? Please get in touch with individual faculty members to find out more and ask about visiting us!
Faculty SpotlightProfessor John A. Higgins, Assistant Professor, Geochemistry and Paleoclimate
Current Research: Reconstructions of past climates and the chemistry of the ocean and atmosphere using state-of-the-art methods and instruments. Research topics include Earth’s climate and atmospheric CO2 over the last 65 million years, the chemistry of the ocean over geologic time, and global geochemical consequences of the rise of atmospheric O2 and the evolution of life. At Princeton, Higgins is setting up a new analytical laboratory capable of state-of-the-art measurements of isotope ratios of Mg, Ca, Li, Sr, Si, and B in a range of natural samples.