Department of Earth Sciences
Nearly everything that we do is connected to the physical Earth; it's lands, oceans, atmosphere, plants and animals; the materials used for our homes and offices, the clothes that we wear, our sources of energy, our drinking water, the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. All of our high-tech tools, innovative clean energy solutions and critical minerals are derived from our planet. Study of the Earth Sciences offers an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to understanding Earth systems, applying knowledge from biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, computer science and mathematics to tackle complex global issues. As our human population approaches 8 billion people, maintaining and improving the quality of life on this planet, and protecting threatened environments and ecosystems, requires an understanding and appreciation of Earth’s complex processes.
The 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) outline 17 actions necessary to addressing our most pressing global challenges by the year 2030, such as improving health and education, protection from natural disasters, reducing inequality, supporting economic growth while tackling climate change and preserving oceans and forests. Geoscientists and their knowledge of Earth systems and processes are critical to achieving these goals.
Professor Peter Crockford led an eye-opening study revealing earth has more living cells than stars in the universe! His research allows us to explore alternative life paths on our planet. Imagine a world without photosynthesis!
New Discovery! Adjunct Research Professor Michael J. Ryan, together with former student Logan Micucci and Prof. Hanika Rizo have described the new small horned-dinosaur, Gremlin slobodorum, from the upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Oldman Formation of southern Alberta (~78 million years ago).
New paper! Professor Hanika Rizo, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US), co-authors publication in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, entitled "Mechanisms for generating elevated zircon δ18O in Archean crust: Insights from the Saglek-Hebron Complex, Canada".