Department Head’s Welcome

Thanks for your interest in the Department of Earth Sciences at UConn. The earth sciences cover all aspects of the study of our planet, its history, and how it works. Our research extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from deep inside the earth to the edge of outer space. We add to this the dimension of time, from 4.5 billion years ago when the earth formed, to today, and on into the future.

As part of a land-grant university, our main mission is to provide quality instructional programs and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Our faculty members offer research opportunities in the areas of paleobiology, paleoclimate and paleoenvironment, surface processes, climate science, geodynamics, geophysics, hydrogeology, and tectonics. Our high faculty-to-student ratio means that you will be part of a community and not just a number. Our department is dedicated to maintaining a positive, inclusive environment, embracing diversity in all forms and rejecting any form of discrimination. We believe that the best science arises from the integration of diverse ideas and experiences.

Our undergraduate program focuses on the materials, processes, and histories of Earth as a planetary system, with a special emphasis on environmental change at geologic time scales. Students can opt to follow one of three tracks to suit their interest: Earth, Environmental, or Atmosphere. We offer B.S. and B.A. degrees, providing opportunities for students who wish to become professional earth scientists as well as those whose career plans would benefit from a grounding in the earth sciences. All students are strongly encouraged to gain in-depth experience along the way by participating in research or taking on internships. The GeoClub, open to all majors, is where students support each other and make lasting friendships.

The aim of our graduate program is to train scientists, professionals, educators and future leaders in the global earth science community. Our M.S. and Ph.D. students learn specialized skills, contribute new earth science knowledge through independent, supervised research and peer-reviewed publication, and become proficient in communicating effectively with the public. We support activities and events that promote faculty-graduate student interaction and collaboration throughout the year.

We are currently entering the Anthropocene, a new epoch of earth history in which humans, with the ability to modify the land surface, impact biodiversity, and affect global climate, have become a major geologic force. As society faces critical issues related to climate change, energy security, natural hazards, and natural resource and waste management, the earth sciences have never been more relevant.

We invite you to join us and be part of the UConn Earth Science community.

Tracy Frank

Professor and Head, Department of Earth Sciences

Professor Tracy Frank