Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to celebrate new name

The former Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington has a new name, and it is implementing a new curriculum. To celebrate, there's a party.

"The department has changed its name to Earth and Atmospheric Sciences," professor and department chairman Jim Brophy said. "In honor of this event, we are inviting the IU community to help us celebrate at a lawn party in front of the Geology Building."

The party starts at 2 p.m. April 19 -- in conjunction with IU Day, a 24-hour celebration of Indiana University focused on social-media sharing and online programming. Everyone is welcome to stop by the Geology Building at 1001 E. 10th St. to enjoy refreshments, pick up "Earth-themed swag," get information about the new curriculum, and meet faculty and staff.

The new name provides a more accurate and complete reflection of the research and teaching that take place at the department. Two years ago, it added an atmospheric sciences component to its curriculum. At the same time, the discipline formerly known as geology has continued to evolve, with more emphasis placed on understanding the planet Earth, including its atmosphere.

"These are exciting times for the department," Brophy said, "and we hope students, faculty and staff from across campus, as well as the public, will join us in celebrating."

With a history at IU going back over 165 years, the department includes over 40 faculty, scientists, adjunct faculty, post-docs, research faculty and visiting scientists.

The new undergraduate curriculum will include introductory courses on Earth materials, processes and climate and upper-level courses that provide students with opportunities to explore individual areas of interest, with increased alignment with career preparation.

The department's website says the focus of its research and teaching "spans the enormity of geological time from the Archaean to the Holocene, explores spatial scales that vary from atomic to global, and addresses geographical realms that range from the tropics to both polar regions, from continents to oceans, from Earth's surface to deep beneath it, and extends to the Moon and to Mars."