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About Us

Chair: Julia Cole
Associate Chair for Graduate Studies: Jeroen Ritsema
Associate Chair for Curriculum and Undergraduate Studies: Rose Cory
Camp Davis Director: Nathan Niemi
Chief Administrator: Courtney Hooper

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The mission of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is to promote education and scientific discovery about the entire Earth. We welcome all who are curious about the Earth and we strive to create an environment that is accessible and supportive to everyone. Our shared responsibility to treat each other with respect is integral to creating and maintaining a vibrant community.



The research mission of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan is to understand the origin, evolution, and future of the Earth. This includes how it formed as a planet, how it progressed to its present state, how life originated and evolved on Earth, how the solid earth, oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere interact, and how the Earth’s climate and environment have changed in the past and will continue to change as a result of human activities.

Research focused on the Earth sciences is important and urgent. The Earth is our only home and is under stress with a growing population and industrialized development across the globe. Areas of expertise within the geosciences directly contribute to the effective management of the Earth’s environment and resources to maintain and improve standards of living for all populations.

The Department has a multidisciplinary world-class research program that includes the application of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics to the Earth and its environment. Projects are ongoing on all seven continents and the world’s oceans.

For more about faculty research and research groups click here.


Undergraduate Program

Through lectures, labs, and seminars on campus, field trips and Camp Davis courses, Earth and Environmental Sciences undergraduate students prepare to support the needs of modern society, while being responsible stewards for planet Earth in this critical period of globalization and development.

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Major trains students to receive a broad foundation in natural and physical sciences related to environmental and Earth sciences. Students are required to learn material from several core areas of the Earth sciences.

The Department also offers academic minors in Earth Sciences, Geology, Oceanography, Paleontology, and Geospatial Science, as well as a Teacher's Certificate Program.


Graduate Program

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences welcomes applications to its graduate program from students with a keen interest in advancing knowledge in the Earth Sciences. The goal of our graduate program is to provide students with the critical and analytical skills and technical expertise to conduct independent and creative research. While many of our students will find successful careers in the Earth sciences, our mission is to develop broad-minded individuals with a sense of purpose, who can be leaders in any career of their choice.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences awards PhD degrees. Students holding a BS, BA, or MS degree in any field of science are encouraged to apply. Financial support is guaranteed for all PhD students who enroll.

For University of Michigan undergraduate students who are currently pursuing an Earth and Environmental Sciences major, we offer a Fifth-Year MS Program.