The Department of Geological Sciences can trace its roots to the university's beginnings, when Stanford's first president, David Starr Jordan, hired John Casper Branner, a geologist, as the university's first professor. The search for and extraction of natural resources was the focus of Branner's geology department during that period of Western development.
Today, the geological sciences are diverse and naturally interdisciplinary. Faculty members in the GS department interact closely with colleagues in other departments such as chemistry, biological sciences, statistics, and other materials science. They also collaborate with the Institute for International Studies, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The department has over 100 students, including postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students. Approximately half of our student population is female and about one-third of our students are international.