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Mineral dating reveals new clues about important tectonic process
02/08/2022

Ancient rocks on the coast of Oman that were once driven deep down toward Earth’s mantle may reveal new insights into subduction, an important tectonic process that fuels volcanoes and creates continents, according to an international team of scientists.


Newly discovered carbon may yield clues to ancient Mars
01/18/2022

NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, and since then has roamed Gale Crater taking samples and sending the results back home for researchers to interpret. Analysis of carbon isotopes in sediment samples taken from half a dozen exposed locations, including an exposed cliff, leave researchers with three plausible explanations for the carbon's origin — cosmic dust, ultraviolet degradation of carbon dioxide, or ultraviolet degradation of biologically produced methane.


Fossil worm dung shows traces of microscopic ‘miners’ in elemental silver
01/12/2022

When one organism’s trash contains traces of human treasure, look for ancient microbial activity, according to researchers who found elemental silver in fossilized worm dung.


Novel model can aid decisions in electricity generation, stream water quality
01/03/2022

Switching from coal to natural gas in power plants can reduce how much sulfur dioxide, a gas that smells like a freshly struck match, is emitted into the atmosphere and ultimately how much sulfate pollution enters waterways, according to a Penn State-led research team that has developed a model to detect if the recent switch from coal to gas is affecting streams.


Researcher returns home to study active volcano on La Palma
01/03/2022

When Judit Gonzalez-Santana conducts her research, she first looks to space. With each passing of radar satellites in the Earth’s orbit, changes in elevation of the ground at Guatemala’s Pacaya Volcano are recorded, providing data to the Penn State doctoral candidate in geosciences, who is training to become a volcanologist.


NSF grant supports Asian American and Pacific Islander students in geosciences
01/03/2022

The geosciences lag other STEM fields when it comes to racial and ethnic representation. A two-year, $295,000 grant from the National Science Foundation aims to address this issue by encouraging more Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students to pursue research and careers in the geosciences.


Graduate student exemplifies resilience, adaptability during Penn State journey
12/08/2021

Finding one’s identity throughout college and beyond can be challenging for many, but through embracing her unique heritage, Esther Muñoz is making her way.


Lee Kump shares perspective on diving and discovery in Penn State video series
12/08/2021

In a video series titled “Perspective: Leaders at Penn State,” Lee Kump, John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, reflects on his love for diving as an opportunity to experience the joy of discovery — and to come back with your eyes wide open.


Lunar radar data uncovers new clues about moon’s ancient past
12/02/2021

The dusty surface of the moon — immortalized in images of Apollo astronauts’ lunar footprints — formed as the result of asteroid impacts and the harsh environment of space breaking down rock over millions of years. An ancient layer of this material, covered by periodic lava flows and now buried under the lunar surface, could provide new insight into the Moon’s deep past, according to a team of scientists.


Interactive student project puts 'Communities in Crisis' on the map
11/30/2021

What do a tiny nation off the coast of West Africa, a plastics pollution problem in Pittsburgh, and the indigenous Iñupiat people of Alaska all have in common?