The Jackson School of Geosciences

Mission & Vision


To advance understanding of the Earth, its resources, systems, and environment, for the lasting benefit of humankind.


To become the preeminent geosciences program in the country with international prominence in geology, geophysics, energy, mineral and water resources, and in the broad areas of the earth sciences, including the Earth’s environment. To realize this vision, the Jackson School will pursue initiatives that

  • Place the school at the forefront of research.
  • Place the school at the forefront of education, student services, and student opportunities.
  • Create the fabric of a great college.
  • Increase our competitiveness for top talent.

Strategic Plan

In 2010, the Jackson School successfully concluded the first phase of its strategic plan, “Changing the World of Geosciences.” The goal of the plan was to lay the foundation for creating the country’s preeminent geoscience program. Highlights from 2007-2010 included

  • Hiring 17 new faculty and scientists.
  • Placing the school at the forefront of research.
  • Placing the school at the forefront of education, student services, and student opportunities.
  • Creating the fabric of a great college.
  • Increasing competitiveness for top talent.

Moving forward, the school is building on its strategic plan in the belief that future advances in geosciences will come from discoveries at the interfaces of traditional disciplines, resulting from interdisciplinary studies investigating the interaction and coupling of physical, biological, and chemical processes and interactions among Earth’s interior, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmospheric systems. Our goals are to:

  • Foster collaborative groups of faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral scientists, and students doing research to address fundamental geosciences questions involving coupling of Earth systems and processes; interdisciplinary, transformative research at the interface of disciplines—including outside of geosciences.
  • Provide world-class education for students at all levels, involving them in the research process to foster their education, offering up-to-date comprehensive curricula, and preparing them to be successful in future careers.
  • Continue to build and support world-class facilities: research laboratories, equipment, and technical support; state-of-art classrooms and a world-class student center.

The Jackson School is building dynamic research programs that investigate fundamental questions in Earth science and take on 21st century problems in geosciences, from energy to water and the environment. In the latest graduate school rankings from U.S. News & World Report, we are ranked No. 5 in Geology and No. 6 in Geophysics & Seismology, and we remain No. 8 for Overall Graduate Programs in Earth Sciences.