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 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 Innovation and Environmental Sciences.
The Faculty of Geosciences today
The Faculty of Geosciences now consists of four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation and Environmental Sciences, and Human Geography & Urban and Regional 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.