Academic expertise. Research prowess. Student success.

There’s a whole world of discovery in the ground beneath your feet. From the shifting of tectonic plates to the eruption of volcanoes, learn about the Earth and all of the natural processes that have shaped it over time.

Department faculty, researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students pursue field, laboratory, experimental, and modeling studies of geological and environmental problems around the world. The department's excellent facilities and technical personnel support a range of methods and the department's ideal location also provides ready access to the many natural laboratories of Nevada, California and the western United States. Research specialties include Earth and planetary surface processes, geodynamics, volcanology, geochemistry, petrology, earthquakes and seismology, mineral and energy resources, hydrology and hydrogeology.

Why choose our programs?

Wendy Calvin instructs two students on how to use a research instrument.

Dedicated faculty

Our leading research-active faculty receive funding from national and international agencies, providing graduate students with a thriving work environment, valuable hands-on experience, and financial support to pursue their own research.

Lake Tahoe sunset.

Rich outdoor environment

Our campus is less than an hour away from some of the most beautiful and geologically interesting landscapes in the country, like Lake Tahoe and the Black Rock desert. We learn in an environment that encourages exploration and recreation.

A group watches on as a man flies a drone with a mountain backdrop.

Facilities & instruments

Our graduate students enjoy a full complement of modern facilities, instrumentation, laboratories and technical support personnel, all paired with the many natural laboratories of Nevada, California and the western United States.

Department news

Cover of Nevada Geology calendar

Dramatic Nevada scenery featured in 2022 Nevada Geology photo calendar

Funds raised support University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Students on the quad in autumn.

College of Science celebrates 2021 distinguished alumni

Alumni from the College of Science and the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering were commended at last night's annual event.

Surface rupture of Monte Cristo earthquake

University taking part in Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill

Campus community encouraged to be earthquake aware and to Drop, Cover and Hold-on