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THIS IS WHAT WE STUDY: A SAMPLING OF PROJECTS AND OUTREACH IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
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Studying deep subsurface mines with similar conditions to extraterrestrial locations
Nucleation and Fluxes of Atmospheric Particles
Dispersals of early humans: adaptations, frontiers, and new territories
An outreach program bringing  seismology research into the classroom

December 17, 2015 From the Toronto Star: Possibility of widespread ’deep-Earth life’ jolts scientists.

What if Earth hosts another ’biosphere’ of tiny microbial organisms deep below the surface?

"In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, research led by University of Toronto geoscientist Barbara Sherwood Lollar demonstrates that the environment that could host "deep-Earth life" is far vaster than previously imagined. And the possibility that we could find the same thing on other planets received an electric jolt Tuesday with the announcement that NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover had detected a plume of methane on the red planet that spiked and then dissipated – a potential signal of microbial life.

"It’s a critical reminder that the oceans and rivers and lakes on Earth give us a skewed view of the places where life could exist and evolve in another setting or another planet," said Lisa Pratt, a geochemist at Indiana University who was not involved in either paper. Pratt chairs the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group, a community of scientists that advises NASA" .GO TO THE ARTICLE

Curiosity Rover On Mars

IU on Mars: David Bish and Juergen Schieber article on Inside IU Bloomington
NASA: Latest News from Mars
Finding life beyond Earth: JPL | NASA | NOVA
Faculty links: David Bish | Juergen Schieber | CheMin PPT

IU Bloomington geologist reports results of Mars mineralogy investigation. |
IU geologists analyze data from Curiosity’s instruments. |

News and Events

Research links soil mineral surfaces to key atmospheric processes

From the IU Newsroom: Research by Indiana University scientists finds that soil may be a significant and underappreciated source of nitrous acid, a chemical that plays a pivotal role in atmospheric processes such as the formation of smog and determining the lifetime of greenhouse gases. The article, “Soil surface acidity plays a determining role in the atmospheric-terrestrial exchange of nitrous acid,” is being published this week by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is available online. Melissa A. Donaldson, a Ph.D. student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is the lead author. Co-authors are Raff and David L. Bish, the Haydn Murray Chair of Applied Clay Mineralogy in the Department of Geological Sciences.more

Give Now to Geological Sciences

Would you like to donate to IU Geological Sciences? Click on the "Give Now" button to the right to view all the funding choices, including the Excellence in Geology Fund and the Mary Iverson Graduate Fellowship in Geological Sciences

Research Focus Sites

OIINK Seismic Research Experiment
Shale Research Lab
Organic Matter from the Santa Barbara Basin
Southern Caribbean Plate Boundary Studies
Exploring Deep-Subsurface Life Podcasts
South Aegean Volcanic Arc Database

Professional Societies, Student Chapters

Sigma Gamma Epsilon
SEG–IU Student Chapter
IU Geophysical Society

Graduate Admissions

Undergraduate Admissions

Colloquia

Other Resources


Indiana University Department of Geological Sciences
1001 East 10th Street Bloomington, IN 47405-1405
Phone: 812-855-5582 | Fax: 812-855-7899 | Map, Directions and Contacts