Research Groups Earth-Surface Processes The study of processes active at and near the earth’s surface include flowing water, glacial ice, wind, waves, human activities, other biosphere impacts, and chemical alteration of earth materials. Geochemistry The study of the relative and absolute abundances of the elements and of the atomic species (isotopes) in the earth, and the distribution and migration of the individual elements in the various parts of the earth, and in minerals and rocks. Geophysics The science concerned with all aspects of the physical properties of the Earth and planetary bodies and their interpretation, including, for example, seismology, gravity, magnetism, heat flow, and geochronology. Geobiology and Paleobiology The study of the history and evolution of life on Earth as revealed by the fossil and rock record. Paleoclimate and Paleoenvironmental Change A diverse group of scientists brought together by their common interest in the environment, both ancient and modern. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology The branch of geology dealing with the origin, occurrence, structure, and history of rocks, especially igneous and metamorphic rocks. Planetary Science Planetary science focuses on the origin and evolution of planets with an emphasis on understanding the formation of Earth-like planets in our solar system and in extra-solar systems. Structural Geology and Tectonics The study of the structural (as opposed to compositional) features of rocks, of the geographic distribution of the features and their causes; and of, pertaining to, or designating the rock structure and external forms resulting from the deformation of the earth’s crust, whether the result of warping or of fracture, or both.