About Us

Chair's Welcome

Jim Wright

Welcome to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University.  We do love our rocks beyond their spectacular beauty because they are the books that tell us about the last 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history.  Earth and Planetary scientists combine physics, chemistry, and biology to understand how our planet works, its place in our solar system, why Earth has remained habitable for 4 billion years, and the evolutionary changes that produced dinosaurs and ultimately our species. 

Our faculty study a broad range of topics spanning the Earth, moons, and planets and their physical, chemical, and biotic evolution through time.  We study climate change and are key contributors to the IPCC reports.  We have experts on geo-hazards and are consulted when earthquakes occur, and volcanoes erupt.  We are looking at the origins of life and what spurred human evolution and the migration out of Africa.  We have faculty studying Mars, teasing out the secrets of the earliest moments of our solar system held in meteorites, and working at NASA on lunar samples collected during the Apollo missions.  Our faculty are studying the origins of the solar system and the building blocks of planets, moons, and ultimately life itself. 

If you are a high school or undergraduate student, our majors end up in many different fields.  Graduates with BS degrees in Earth Sciences are highly sought after by environmental and hydrological firms with good starting salaries.  Students in our graduate program have many options including faculty and research positions, employment in energy fields, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and working with the geo-environmental firms.  

Every day you interact with our planet in many ways.  Earth scientists play a critical role in addressing our energy needs, not only through conventional resources, but also by providing alternate energy solutions. Understanding the risks of hurricanes along our shore and geo-hazards of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and globally require geological investigations.  Decisions affecting our future depend critically on understanding our past and how our planet responds to change. 

We offer many courses that cover a range of subjects that might interest you.  Our colloquium series now has some evening lectures that can be accessed online and are appropriate the non-specialist.  Please check out the “Current Colloquium” series in our website.

I encourage to explore our department by continuing to browse our website.  

Best regards,

Jim Wright
EPS, Chair


EPS Students on Book Cliffs field trip in Utah

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University on the New Brunswick/Piscataway Campus is a community of students, faculty members, and research scientists engaged in the exploration of a wide variety of geological problems on Earth and other solar system bodies. We offer both challenging and comprehensive instruction, and students are encouraged to become vital members of this research community. Interdisciplinary studies are fostered through the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Several faculty hold joint appointments in Anthropology, Environmental Sciences, and Marine & Coastal Sciences. A weekly Geology Colloquium brings a diversity of Earth Scientists to our Department to discuss the latest research results and new techniques. Our museum exhibits local geology and engages the public with outreach. Left, EPS Students on Book Cliffs field trip in Utah.

New: Undergraduate major has four options: Geological Sciences, Environmental Geology, Planetary Science, General Option More Info


Colloquium is BACK!

See "Upcoming Events" for Schedule


Rutgers Oceanographers Set Precedent for New Program in U.S. Ocean Coring & Climate Studies

Rutgers Post-Doc, Samantha Bova, and Earth & Planetary Sciences Professor Yair Rosenthal helped to direct the research team at the Chilean Margin in the southeast Pacific, as part of a JOIDES Resolution project to drill into the ocean floor. Exciting new results just published in NATURE reconcile anthropogenic climate models with Holocene data. click here for more.




Dr. Lauren Adamo and EPS colleagues using drones to generate new research and learning. Dr. Adamo and Dr. Ojha are soon launching remote sensing and imaging experiences, with focus on Earth and Mars. Learn more about the “Pebble Bluff” project.


Brazilian Ecosystems



PhD student Caio Mattos has been awarded!  Click to read more about the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EARLY CAREER GRANT. Congratulations to Caio.


JOIDES joyfulness!


Prof. Ken Miller joins JOIDES Facility Board. Ken will help determine the effective use of drilling facilities in fulfilling the objectives of future IODP Science Plans. click to read more.


History of EPS

A Brief History Of Geology At Rutgers, 1830-1980

by Richard Olsson (Professor and Chair Emeritus)

Geology was first taught at Rutgers when Lewis C. Beck was appointed professor and head of the department of chemistry and natural science at Rutgers College in 1830. He also worked as a mineralogist for the New York Geological Survey. Beck was succeeded by George H. Cook as head of the department in 1853 and served as head until his death in 1889.

Read more: History of EPS