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The Geological Society of America was founded in Ithaca, New York in 1888 by some of the great geologists of the time, including James Hall, James Dwight Dana, and Alexander Winchell, who were members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Cornell's Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Suzanne Mahlburg Kay was the 2013 Geological Society of America's President. The late Jack E. Oliver, EAS Professor Emeritus also served as GSA President in 1987. Read More

Most of the major issues we face in the 21st century--climate change, energy, soil, fresh water, natural hazards, and mineral resources--are directly related to humans' relationship to planet Earth. Earth science is the discipline that explores how that planet, the solid earth, oceans, and atmosphere work, both today and in the past.

Before we can improve the quality of life of everyone on this planet, we must first understand how this very complicated natural system operates, and how human behavior is now perturbing the natural balance.

The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell embraces this mission through teaching, world class research, and service and outreach. With the faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), and with collaboration across disciplines, we teach all of Cornell's classes concerning climate and weather, oceanography, earthquakes, biogeochemical cycles, solid earth materials and deformation, and a variety of natural resources to name just a few. Our undergraduate curriculum is available to students in Arts and Sciences as well as Engineering and CALS. We serve both the Cornell, New York, and international communities through our affiliations with the Cornell Energy Institute, the Northeast Regional Climate Center, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, the Paleontological Research Institution and its the Museum of the Earth, and the Shoals Marine Lab, as well as via a myriad of public lectures on topics ranging from recent earthquakes to climate change to shale gas. Several of our faculty are Fellows of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. 

Cornell earth and atmospheric scientists are engaged around the world as international leaders in a wide range of disciplines, with field programs in South America, China, Tibet, the Philippines, Hawaii, Taiwan, and the Middle East. They have also served in leadership roles in such high profile efforts such as the Geological Society of America and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).   

If you are a student, you should know that career opportunities in many earth science disciplines are booming: our graduates can be found in prominent roles in major corporations and on the faculty of many leading universities. Our two undergraduate majors, the Science of Earth Systems (available to students in Engineering, CALS, and Arts and Sciences) and Atmospheric Science (available to students in CALS provide two pathways to exploring the planet while pushing the limits of your imagination. The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences administers two graduate fields: Atmospheric Science and Geological Sciences, with individual faculty participating in several others. If you are a perspective graduate student, take time to understand how Cornell's incredibly flexible field system can enable you to custom design your own interdisciplinary graduate program, help you realize that dream of research in some of the most spectacular places on Earth while creating exciting new career paths for your future.