A young faculty with a rich history

The Faculty of Geosciences was created in 2003 from a merger between the faculties of Earth Sciences and Geography. However, the origins of geosciences research in Utrecht date back to over 100 years earlier.

The beginning: geology, mineralogy and geography

In 1879, a chair of Geology and Mineralogy was endowed in what was then the Faculty of Physical Sciences. In September 1908, after years of preparation, the first two professors of geography were appointed: one for human geography and one for physical geography. Their appointments rounded off the establishment of the Geographical Institute. The first classes were taught in the autumn of 1908.

Growth and mergers

In the 1950s, teaching in earth sciences and geography in Utrecht took off, when the number of research fields were expanded considerably. The year 1979 saw a merger between the geology faculties at the universities of Utrecht and Leiden. Since that time, all earth sciences teaching has been centred in the Utrecht Science Park (formerly know as "De Uithof"). 

New developments: innovation and environmental sciences

Innovation and environmental sciences are relatively new fields in the faculty. Environmental science has been part of the Faculty of Geography since 1985. After being established in 1991, Science and Innovation Management joined the faculty in 2000. Together, the programmes currently constitute the Department of Sustainable Development.

The Faculty of Geosciences today

The Faculty of Geosciences now consists of four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Sustainable Development, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning. We are in the centre of new developments, working on state-of-the-art research and teaching in the field of Earth, human activity, the environment and innovation. Sustainability is the central guiding theme of our research.