An integrated approach toward understanding our planet
Sustainability Goals AW
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 5 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:


31 October 2019
Ronald Pijnenburg shows that thirty to fifty per cent of the gas-bearing sandstone in the subsurface of the Groningen gas field is permanently compacted.
Sanne Akerboom at the Makkelijk Praten podcast
25 October 2019
Scientists from Utrecht University talk about their research (and funny science facts) in the 'Makkelijk Praten' podcast.
logo van European Research Council
11 October 2019
Caroline Slomp (UU) and Mike Jetten (Radboud University) receive €7.6 million to investigate how microbes remove methane and ammonium from coastal sediments.
4 October 2019
Thursday 3 October 2019 saw the festive opening of the Faculty of Geosciences' Earth Simulation Laboratory (ESL).




E.g., 11/14/2019
15 November 2019 16:15 - 17:15
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk by Marlo Garnsworthy
20 November 2019 16:15 - 18:00
Tjeerd Joris Bouma is voornemens op zijn ambt te aanvaarden met het houden van een oratie getiteld: To drown or not to drown! Maakt natuur (het) verschil?
22 November 2019 16:00 - 17:00
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk by Dr Peter Bijl