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:

News

4 October 2018
Earth Scientists from among others Utrecht University evaluated thirteen different ocean-based measures to lessen the impact of climate change.
7 September 2018
Having led the Faculty of Geosciences for over eight years, Piet Hoekstra intends to step down as dean from 1 March 2019.
The pebbly channel layer. Credit: Appy Sluijs
6 September 2018
An international research team reveals the magnitude of an episode of global warming that caused extreme floods and landscape disruption 56 million years ago.
Shanghai Ranking
5 September 2018
Utrecht University researchers are ranked second best worldwide in the Shanghai Ranking category Geography.

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