Welcome to Summer 2015!

The mission of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences is to further the understanding of Earth, the solar system, and their histories.

The Department’s scope extends from the center of Earth to the rim of the solar system, and its activities cut across traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and mathematics. Our faculty, students, and staff examine Earth’s interior structure, chemistry, motion, and dynamics; geologic hazards; processes affecting the surface environment; the surrounding space environment; planetary processes; and geobiology.

We provide a foundation for interdisciplinary teaching and research that is based on the geologic record, and on rigorous observation and modeling of Earth’s present state. Our research aims to provide a basis for making accurate predictions of future conditions.

Through these activities, we contribute to the education of undergraduate and graduate students seeking careers in science and technology, provide broad educational opportunities about Earth, environmental and space sciences, and conduct outreach on related issues of societal concern.

Hi ESSers!

As everyone returns to our department keep a few points in mind:

Please remember to be vigilant about suspicious behavior in our buildings and labs.
Remember to lock doors when appropriate, especially when working alone in laboratories. Report suspicious behavior to the UWPD as well as our building manager, Dave McDougall (JHN 047). Also, you might program the UWPD number into your phone: 206-685-8973 (UWPD). For emergencies, call 911 immediately.

Please remember to use common spaces with consideration for your peers!
We have a lot of shared work space in our department–like labs, offices, the student lounge, the QRC library, etc. Please remember to be considerate when using these spaces, and to create spaces for our incoming students–so that everyone can be comfortable using these resources.

We have a lot of new ways to connect to the department–check out our social media!



ESS Student Services Blog:








EnviroLink (Environmental Pre-Major Advising Link) Blog:


SAMLink (Science and Math Pre-Major Advising Link) Blog:


Thanks everyone! Good luck this quarter! Welcome!


PhD Study Opportunities in Geophysics at the Auckland University, New Zealand (Deadline 1 August)

PhD study opportunities in geophysics at the Auckland University, New Zealand (deadline 1 August)

We present the following PhD projects in geophysics at the University of Auckland.

Deciphering volcano seismic signatures from scaled laboratory models (EQC PhD scholarship)

Here, we aim to perform unique laboratory experiments on fluid-induced acoustic emissions in a range of volcanic rocks to understand seismic observations at White Island Volcano (Whakaari), New Zealand. This project has also a special outreach component to support the Seismometers in New Zealand Schools initiative. For more information on this project, contact Ludmila Adam or Kasper van Wijk, or visit:http://www.env.auckland.ac.nz/people/m-adam

Imaging the subsurface of the Auckland Volcanic Field

The city of Auckland sits atop an active volcanic field. The details of the subsurface structure, however, are unknown. In this project, we aim to image the subsurface from ambient noise recorded on the permanent GEONET network of 3-component seismometers around the city. For more information on this project, contact Kasper van Wijk or visit https://www.physics.auckland.ac.nz/research/pal/2014/05/05/seismic-monitoring-the-auckland-volcanic-field/

Getting inside the earthquake machine: fine-scale imaging of the Alpine Fault zone (partially funded throught the Royal Society of New Zealand)

The Alpine Fault produces large earthquakes on average every 330 years, with its last rupture in 1717 AD. This project will provide insight into fault zone architecture and examine how processes occurring within the fault zone control Alpine Fault earthquakes, by performing systematic measurements of the microstructure and geophysical rock properties with novel laboratory techniques. For more information on this project, contact Ludmila Adam or visit: http://www.env.auckland.ac.nz/people/m-adam

The University of Auckland provides PhD scholarships that cover tuition costs and provide a stipend of NZ$ 25,000 (tax free). https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/current-students/cs-scholarships-and-awards/cs-overview-of-scholarships/cs-scholarships-for-doctoral-students.html

These scholarships are competitive, where successful applicants have normally had a high GPA and have completed an undergraduate in geophysics, geology, physics or mathematics. Research experience (such as an MSc or Honours degree) is required to be accepted in the PhD program. The next application deadline for the scholarships is: August 1st, 2015. Interested applicants should contact Kasper van Wijk or Ludmila Adam to discuss the projects/application.