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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Department of Earth Sciences is the Earth Sciences department of the University of Oxford, England, which is part of the university's Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division. The department is based in the Earth Sciences building on South Parks Road in the Science Area.

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford
Oxuni earthsciences.jpg
The department seen from South Parks Road
Established1888 (School of Geology)
AffiliationUniversity of Oxford
Head of DepartmentChris Ballentine
Undergraduatesc. 120
Postgraduatesc. 80
51°45′31″N 1°15′16″W / 51.7586°N 1.2544°W / 51.7586; -1.2544


The department's research is broad but with a particular emphasis on geochemistry, geophysics, natural hazards and climate,[1] and was the top-ranked department nationally in the 2014 REF assessment[2] as well as ranking highly in international league tables.[3][4] The department teaches an undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences (leading to a 3-year BA in Geology or 4-year MEarthSci in Earth Sciences) with approximately 120 undergraduates, and entry is highly competitive.[5] The course is interdisciplinary and quantitative, with a major research project in the fourth year. The department has 6 Multi-Collector Mass Spectrometers, 2 ICP Mass Spectrometers, specialised geochemistry, biogeochemistry and petrology laboratories including clean suites, a workshop for sample preparation and a library with c. 10,000 volumes (as well as map collections).[1]


Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford dates back to the 17th Century with the work of naturalists such as Edward Lhuyd and Robert Plot. However, the first formal appointment was in 1813, with William Buckland designated as Reader in Mineralogy, and later Professor of Geology.[6] The establishment of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History in 1860[7] was influential in the history of Geology at the University, and has collaborated closely with the Department of Earth Sciences (established as the School of Geology in 1888[8]) ever since. The School was based in the museum until 1949, where it moved into a new building opposite Keble College (now occupied by the Department of Computer Science). The department moved again in 2010 to the building it occupies now.[9]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "Department of Earth Sciences » Research Themes". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  2. ^ "Results & submissions : REF 2014 : View results and submissions by UOA". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  3. ^ "Top universities where you can study Geology, Environmental, Earth & Marine Sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  4. ^ "Earth & Marine Sciences". Top Universities. 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  5. ^ "Earth Sciences (Geology) | University of Oxford". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  6. ^ Foster, Joseph. Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886.
  7. ^ "About | Oxford University Museum of Natural History". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  8. ^ "Department of Earth Sciences » History of the Department". Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  9. ^ "Earth Sciences building - Oxford Thinking - University of Oxford". Retrieved 2019-05-19.

External links

This page was last edited on 24 October 2020, at 10:07
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