Earth Science

provost student looking through telescopeEarth Science is the study of the history and processes that affect the Earth and its neighbors in space. Earth Science includes but is not limited to geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy.

  • Geology deals with the composition of Earth’s materials, structures, and processes. Geologists also study the organisms of the planet and how the planet has changed over time. Many industries employ geologists in the search for fuels and minerals, studying natural hazards, and working to protect Earth’s environment. Utah is famous for the variety of its geological features and people from all over the world travel here to visit the natural wonders formed by eons of geological forces sculpting the landscape.
  • Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and how processes in the atmosphere determine Earth’s weather and climate. Meteorology is one of the most talked about and practical of all of the sciences because everyone is concerned with the weather. Weather has a direct, daily impact on all of our lives. The long-term weather of a region is known as climate.
  • Oceanography is the study of the composition, movement, organisms and processes of Earth’s vast oceans. The fact that a large portion of Earth’s surface is covered by liquid water makes Earth unique among the known planets The oceans also have a major influence on the weather and changes in the oceans can drive or moderate climate.
  • Astronomy is the study of the universe. A knowledge of astronomy is essential to understanding the Earth. Many things on Earth are influenced by processes taking place in space. These include the ocean’s tidal system which is driven by the moon’s orbit around Earth, weather and climate cycles that are influenced by varying amounts of solar energy, and major cataclysmic events that have been caused by impacts from meteorites. Astronomers can also use a knowledge of Earth materials, processes and history to understand other planets – even those outside of our own solar system.