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Greenland bedrock drilling project to understand past, future ice sheet melting

The Greenland Ice Sheet holds enough water to raise sea levels nearly 24 feet, yet it remains difficult to predict the rate of melt and possible tipping points in the stability of the ice sheet.

Climate change is now causing Greenland to shed ice rapidly, and even a few feet of sea level rise may have grim implications for coastal cities and low-lying islands. A new project aimed at drilling through the ice to the underlying bedrock promises to reveal the ice sheet’s past in unprecedented detail and enable more accurate predictions of how it may add to rising seas in the 21st century.

Here but still 'there': Using virtual-reality field trips to enrich education

Classes may have been held remotely during the previous spring semester, but Penn State faculty members found creative ways to bring field trips to their students, even when they couldn’t necessarily bring students out into the field. Two courses in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences employed virtual reality field trips last semester to continue delivering the same high degree of academic quality that Penn State is known for around the world.

New Argentine fossils uncover history of celebrated conifer group

Newly unearthed, surprisingly well-preserved conifer fossils from Patagonia, Argentina, show that an endangered and celebrated group of tropical West Pacific trees has roots in the ancient supercontinent that once comprised Australia, Antarctica and South America, according to an international team of researchers.

View our 2019-20 Graduate Student Publications

Our graduate students have had a productive academic year! View the list of publications.

Graduate Student Awards and Degrees (2019-2020)

Congratulations to the following students who received awards and special recognition for their efforts in 2019-2020 and to the students who graduated.

In Antarctica, you’re never really alone

As a glaciologist for over 30 years, Sridhar Anandakrishnan is well-used to social distancing. Professor of geosciences and a core member of Penn State’s Ice and Climate Exploration group, his field work in Antarctica and Greenland typically takes place in a small camp in the middle of a glacier, 1,000 miles from the closest neighbor. “For the most part,” he says, “it’s two to four people living out of a couple of tents for six to eight weeks. There’s some very particular skills one needs to navigate that kind of situation.”  

Scientists create road map for improving carbon estimates

Penn State researchers found that a common tool used to understand carbon dioxide fluxes, or how the gas moves between the atmosphere and ecosystems, may be overconfident because of uncertainties in the release of carbon dioxide by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Digging into the past

High on the craggy cliffs of Oman's rocky desert landscape, Sarah Ivory squeezed into narrow, dark caves in search of a different kind of goldmine.

U.S. methane emissions focus of EarthTalks seminar by Ken Davis

Ken Davis, professor of atmospheric and climate science at Penn State, will look at U.S. methane emissions, with a particular focus on the oil and gas industry, at the next EarthTalks seminar at 4 p.m. Monday, March 2, in 112 Walker Building.

Penn State tops NSF rankings for breadth of research expertise

The breadth of Penn State's research expertise surpasses that of any university in the country, according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) research expenditures by key fields and subfields, released in November 2019.