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:


IODP Hoem Cramwinckel Sangiorgi
20 September 2019
Over the past two years, three earth scientists from Utrecht University have sailed with the JOIDES Resolution. A remarkably high level of representation.
Vlag faculteiten
6 September 2019
Seven projects received a Partnership Collaboration Award. These awards are an initiative of the University of Sydney and Utrecht University.
Boorplatform op meer van Ohrid
4 September 2019
Through a deep drilling campaign at Lake Ohrid an international team including Utrecht University has reconstructed 1.4 million years of climate in detail.
logo van European Research Council
3 September 2019
6 in total at Utrecht University




E.g., 11/15/2019
22 November 2019 16:15 - 17:00
PhD dissertation of Ali Özbakir
29 November 2019 10:30 - 11:15
Dissertation of Nicolai Nijholt
6 December 2019 16:00 - 17:00
A Friday Earth Sciences Talk