Earth Sciences

Earth sciences is in many ways at the heart of society, and both are undergoing dramatic -and related- changes. Earth sciences has delivered fundamental knowledge on the functioning of our planet and enabled exploitation of Earth’s environments and resources. Earth sciences is now paramount in understanding the consequences of this exploitation and provides the required insight to mitigate negative aspects, including the effects of climate change and overexploitation of soils and natural resources.

The Department of Earth Sciences studies the Earth with emphasis on the interactions between the geo-, hydro-, bio-, cryo-, and atmosphere. Our main goal is to improve our understanding of the processes (including anthropogenic) that ultimately shape our planet and affect our daily lives. We offer high-class teaching and carry out our ambitious and innovative research in a dynamic academic environment, supported by excellent research facilities.

Earth Science is vital to the future of society. Research into deep Earth processes that shape the planet, into the evolution, change and consequences of past and present Climate, and into Resources such as heat, water, hydrocarbons, aggregates, and economically relevant minerals, are fundamental to sustainable use of Earth of our planet. These research efforts require a system Earth approach. We use field observations, state of the art in-house and field laboratories, complemented with a suite of modelling and Earth Observation tools to achieve our research goals.

Within the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam the complex issues of an increasing world population, the use of natural resources and the associated changes in the environments of people at the global level are recognised as vital areas to focus research resources. Earth Sciences take a leading role in the implementation of this theme (VU strategic plan 2020-2025; https://www.vu.nl/en/about-vu-amsterdam/mission-and-profile/index.aspx)

The Department of Earth Sciences consists of 2 thematic research clusters:

The Department can thus study all aspects of System Earth with an integrated approach to the dynamics of System Earth. This approach is designed to quantify the interplay and feedback mechanisms between all parts of dynamic Earth. The two overarching themes form the basis of successful funding from national agencies and the EU and provide the focus for our (inter-) national cooperation.

Our strong research basis forms the core of our teaching programs. Our BSc and MSc programs are consistently rated among the best in natural sciences in the Netherlands. NVAO, Elsevier.

Earth Sciences continue to deliver curricula that lead to great student satisfaction and excellent employment opportunities, ranging from industry, teaching, and policy to research.

BSc programme Earth Sciences
BSc programme Earth Sciences Economics en Sustainability
MSc programme Earth Sciences