Sustainability Goals AW
Main Sustainable Development Goals for the Department of Earth Sciences.

Understanding how the Earth works as a system

The Earth Sciences contribute to answers on a wide range of societal and economic questions, e.g.;

  • the natural means of existence (water, raw materials, the energy transition),
  • the terrestrial environment (influenced by the changing climate, but , e.g., also searching for new methods to remediate pollutions),
  • natural hazards and disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods),
  • and the safe, responsible and sustainable use of terrestrial space (specifically near surface and underground space).

The effects of, and adaptation to, the climate emergency relates to a lot of work that we do. The Earth Sciences contributes to most of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations. In particular these five: Clean water and sanitation, Affordable and clean energy, Sustainable cities and communities, Climate action, and Life below water are of interest to work in our department.

It is our mission to advance our understanding and prediction capability of processes that govern the evolution of System Earth. This system is Earth’s structure, together with the internal workings and surface processes, that determine its evolution and current dynamic state. Our scientists study the Earth, and other planets, on scales from the molecular to the planetary scale; from the microsecond to the geological time scale; and from its birth about 4500 million years ago to the present-day, including the origin and evolution of life. We strive to understand the processes that give rise to its immense riches of life and natural resources.

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".

Research focus

Our focus is on four major aspects of the natural Earth:

Follow us

Follow the Department of Earth Sciences on Facebook: UUEarthSciences, and X: @UUEarthSciences,
or watch lots of informative movies of the Faculty of Geosciences on YouTube: UUGeosciences.
This includes a brief introduction to our laboratories.

Find a selection of our research posters here.