science with impact

donn A Celebration of the Professional Life of Donn Gorsline
We will host a celebration of Donn’s life on Nov. 14 at Donn’s house (near USC campus). We welcome your attendance and we welcome your sharing this invitation with other geologists. More info
Calendar of Events -
In the press -
USC News: A crusty mystery: Scientists [Thorsten Becker, et al] dig into the origin of strange earthquakes (in Nature).

>‘Wicked Problems’


Earth Scientists focus on today’s pressing challenges to society: earthquake risk, water resource availability, natural resources and sustainability, and societal impact of changing climate. We also tackle the foremost problems in the earth sciences: the origin and movement of Earth’s crust, the temporal and spatial evolution of species, the habitability of extreme environments, and the study of complex chemical cycles.

>Global Impact


Our students and faculty are involved in field research projects worldwide; our impact is global. For example, SCEC has developed earthquake response primers that will save lives in regions threatened by earthquakes, worldwide; our study of Earth systems behavior links social systems to the physical world.




The cost of a university education is rising, yet this department delivers an experience that students can’t get anywhere else: individualized personal attention from faculty, hands-on field trips that enforce the experiential aspect of earth science, laboratory research advised by faculty and student mentors, significant financial support within the department for all students, and…..did you know there is near 0% unemployment among earth scientists!!



This department is 50% female/male in its student population, and we are working to be the same in our faculty make-up. We understand issues related to gender and minority underrepresentation in science, and we are actively tackling these issues from the ground up in this department. We will not shy from this topic.

  • Zumberge Hall of Science (ZHS)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740
  • Phone: (213) 740-6106
  • Email: