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:


6 December 2018
Utrecht University researchers Maarten Kleinhans, Appy Sluijs, Marleen van Rijswick and others argue that we must rigorously adapt to sea level rise.
5 December 2018
The NWO Domain Science Board will pay the Dutch membership of IODP and ICDP for the period 2019 to 2023.
29 November 2018
By studying preserved marine algae researchers at the Royal NIOZ and Utrecht University have reconstructed the climate history for a record 500 million years
Crystal Clear
29 November 2018
With her ERC Consolidator Grant Mariëtte Wolthers of Utrecht University plans to research how minerals are formed under natural conditions.




E.g., 12/17/2018
18 December 2018 12:45 - 16:30
First 2018/2019 symposium by the U.A.V.
10 January 2019 15:30 - 16:30
Solid Rock Seminar by Colin M. MacRae (CSIRO Mineral Resources, Microbeam Laboratory, Victoria, Australia)
24 January 2019 09:00 - 18:00
At the Pathways to Sustainability conference all sustainability related researchers and partners come together at TivoliVredenburg.
25 January 2019 16:00 - 17:00
Title to be announced