An integrated approach toward understanding our planet
Main Sustainable Development Goals for the Department of Earth Sciences.

In studying the system Earth and other planets, the Earth Sciences contribute to answers on social and economic questions that concern: 

  • the natural means of existence (water, energy, raw materials),
  • the terrestrial environment (including remediation of pollutions),
  • natural hazards and disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods),
  • and the use of terrestrial space (specifically near surface and underground space).

Through our work, we contribute in particular to 4 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations in 2015.

The Earth Sciences are a multidisciplinary science in which the principles and methods of physics, chemistry, geology, biology, mathematics, and computational sciences are integrated. We specifically develop new scientific hypotheses, methods of data analyses, and experimental and observational techniques that enable us to reconstruct and predict the interactive behaviour of the solid Earth, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere, on scales ranging from seconds to billions of years, and from nanometers to the entire globe. We honour James Hutton’s early insight that "from what has actually been, we have data for concluding with regard to that which is to happen thereafter".

Our research focus is on 4 major aspects of the natural Earth:


19 March 2019
The climate change research programme NESSC has been awarded an additional 1.4 million euros for research of climate change in the past.
Wilco Hazeleger
11 March 2019
As of 1 July 2019, the Executive Board of Utrecht University has appointed Prof. Wilco Hazeleger as the new Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences.
8 March 2019
An international team of scientists, including Ylona van Dinther, recently submitted a new paper.
7 March 2019
A large delegation of Dutch polar and marine researchers has signed a letter of intent to collaborate with the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.




E.g., 03/19/2019
22 March 2019 16:00 - 17:00
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk by Prof. Dr. Nora de Leeuw
29 March 2019 16:15 - 17:00
In his PhD thesis, Robin van der Ploeg has investigated the concepts of long-term balance and temporary imbalance in the geological carbon cycle.
2 April 2019 13:15 - 15:30
Mid-term progress reports by PhD's from the departments of Earth Sciences and Physical Geography.
5 April 2019 16:00 - 17:00
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk by Dr. Eloi Camprubí Casas