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 gradute 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

High-Resolution Still Image of Perseverance's Landing

Roving Mars: From Sojourner to Perseverance

Foundation Professor and planetary scientist Wendy Calvin will discuss the evolution of Mars rovers in her March 11 Discover Science virtual lecture.

Microscopic image of marine plankton.

Marine Plankton face threat of extinction as planet warms

Census of marine plankton fossils reveals inability to adapt to large shifts in climate

desert mountains

Geology-themed 2021 calendar available from College of Science

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology compiles scenic photos, Nevada facts in annual calendar