College of Science, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences studies the composition of our 4.6 billion year-old Earth and its changing environment, and forecasts its future environment. One of the most salient features that distinguishes our department from other natural science departments is that we cover a variety of environmental systems of different sizes and characteristics across time and space.
We started our history in 1968 as the Geology Department in the College of Natural Sciences and Engineering. The number of students fluctuated from 40 in 1968 to 45 in 1993 to 35 from 1999
with our participation in the government-sponsored Brain Korea (BK) project. The Graduate school was established at the College of Natural Sciences and Engineering in 1973 and moved to the College of Natural Sciences in 1977 with the creation of the College of Natural Sciences and Engineering. In 1991, we became the first department of Earth and environmental sciences in Korea to be designated by the Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity as a Sciences Research Center for strategic mineral resources and, as a result, we are equipped with advanced experimental and research facilities valued in the millions of dollars. As the only department in the College of Natural Sciences that has been designated as a beneficiary of all three BK stages (1997-2004, 2005-2012, and 2013-2020) of the government-led Brain Korea Project, we have been nurturing young international science researchers through extending tuition waivers and stipends to Master's and doctoral program students as well as providing various opportunities, including short and long-term overseas research and attendance at international conferences. With our roots in geology, we actively look into evidence contained in both terrestrial and marine rocks and sediment to study changes in the lithosphere and the environment of the Earth through the geological ages. With the renaming of the department to Earth and Environmental Sciences in 1994, we have expanded our research areas to include a basic understanding of the diverse factors that affect the environment of the Earth. Concomitantly, we pursue research in the exploration and development of minerals and energy resources necessary for national development. In addition, by studying natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and landslides and by looking into the environmental problems arising from the storage and filling up of waste and the usage of underground water and soil, we endeavor to provide a blueprint for a better future where human beings coexist harmoniously with the environment.
Graduates from our department are contributing to the preservation of the Earth’s environment and effective land usage by working in university laboratories (institutes for geosicence and mineral resources studies, ocean science or environmental studies), research divisions of government-owned companies (Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Resources Corporation), large companies (environment-related research institutes, petroleum companies, construction companies) and other geology-related corporations.
In the undergraduate program, students are taught to acquire expertise in various areas (environmental, geological, atmospheric, and oceanic) of the Earth and Environmental Sciences and gain competence in forecasting the future based on the Earth’s past and present.
Key Research Areas
(1) Geological structures and metamorphism attesting to the evolution of the Earth as well as other geologic processes, including igneous activates, mineralization and tectonic movements: The purpose is to identify the causes underlying rock composites and their changes and better understand the mechanism behind lithospheric changes and the development of fine structures to ultimately reproduce the history of the lithosphere.
(2) Mineral resources and geochemistry: The aim is to conduct research to develop technologies for the exploration and development of mineral and energy sources and pursue the development of appropriate methods to restore the inorganic environment of the Earth - namely soil, surface water and underground water- by accurately identifying the dynamics of pollution.
(3) Geophysics: The department studies the Earth's magnetic field and its distribution, paleomagnetism and the magnetic features of the rocks on the Korean peninsula. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and other devices designed to measure the Earth's magnetic field.
(4) Environment and Applied Geology: Underground water and atmosphere are also key research areas. Underground water studies examines the flow of organic pollutants in groundwater aquifers by establishing models and conducting experiments. Atmospheric research focuses on understanding changes in atmospheric compositions caused by human activities. For this, measurements are done on terrestrial, maritime and aerial platforms. Chemical models are also used to analyze the measured data.
Website : http://ees.korea.ac.kr
- Tel. 02-3290-3170
- Location : Room 604, Asan Science Hall