The Department of Earth and Environmental Science offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a broad range of earth sciences topics. The department incorporates five strongly interacting graduate programs — Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Hydrology, and Geobiology — in association with an integrated undergraduate major in Earth Science featuring options in Geology, Geophysics, Hydrology, and Mineral Resources. The department also administers a cross-department undergraduate degree in Environmental Science.
The department has 14 faculty members and more than 40 affiliated research and adjunct faculty, many of whom are staff scientists at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The E&ES Department also is affiliated with the IRIS PASSCAL Instrument Center and EarthScope USArray Operations Facility, two major NSF-funded seismological facilities.
The department maintains an average of 65 graduate students and 60 undergraduate students and is strongly research-oriented. Faculty research productivity is high, with external funding currently at about $7 million per year. Undergraduate as well as graduate students are involved in research activities.
Major areas of research include (but are not restricted to):
- Groundwater hydrology
- Watershed hydrology
- Cave and karst studies
- Aqueous geochemistry / Reactive transport
- Earthquake seismology
- Tectonics/structural geology
- Faults and fluid flow
- Sedimentology and diagenesis
- Economic geology
- Petroleum systems, basin analysis and exploration geophysics
Research is strongly interdisciplinary and there is extensive cooperative research between programs. Major research instrumentation and facilities include well-equipped research computing laboratories, 40Ar/39Argon geochronology lab, quadrupole, and stable isotope mass spectrometers, electron microprobe, high-pressure rock physics and rock mechanics laboratory, fission track and image analysis lab, neutron activation counting lab, liquid and gas chromatography lab, a flow visualization lab, and local seismic networks.