Geological Sciences Department Now Called Earth and Planetary SciencesNovember 21, 2006 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- The department of geological sciences in the Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences has changed its name to the department of Earth and planetary sciences to better reflect the scientific scope of the department as well as its degree programs, including a recent expansion of undergraduate offerings.
During the last few years, enough significant changes occurred within the department -- in faculty composition, leadership, undergraduate and graduate programs, and the research directions being pursued by department members -- that a more descriptive name was needed.
“We feel this title is more easily understood than 'geological sciences' and will be attractive to undergraduates,” said department chair Bradley Sageman. “Also, we have a number of researchers who study the other planets, as well as the Earth, and that is conveyed in the new name. Planetary science is integral to our mission, in part because of our strength in geophysics, but also because knowledge of the behavior of other planets deeply informs our basic understanding of the Earth system's behavior.”