The Department of Earth Sciences comprises three institutes: Geological Sciences, Geographical Sciences, and Meteorology. The Institutes of Geological and Geographical Sciences are located on the GeoCampus in Lankwitz; Meteorology is nearby in Steglitz.
The prime goal of the Earth Sciences is to explore System Earth's interacting processes, some of which are affected by human impact. Environmental awareness has steadily increased, especially in industrialized countries, and has become a major factor in politics and society throughout the world.
The GeoCampus houses a number of hitherto small disciplines, whose interdisciplinary approach increasingly transcends traditional scientific boundaries. The methods used to study the interacting processes of System Earth and to predict environmental scenarios are primarily those of the natural sciences, but social science methodology is also involved. The Department's expertise may be summed up as "Geopotentials: Resources, Processes and Risks".
Our range of subjects encompasses the geological sciences (geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology, petrology, palaeontology, planetary sciences), the geographical sciences (physical geography, human geography, applied geography, remote sensing and geoinformatics) and meteorology (general meteorology/synoptics, dynamics of the atmosphere, interactions of the climate system) including the space sciences. Prior to reunification, the Institute of Meteorology had assumed the responsibilities of the German Weather Service for Berlin and now still provides regional information services.
The Department of Earth Sciences rates highly in terms of research performance. Our many PhDs show the Department's strong commitment to supporting young scientists. In line with our research activities, publication rates are very high, especially in the Geological Sciences. We maintain a broad network of active cooperation with colleagues and institutions across Europe and in South America, Central and East Asia, and North Africa.
The keystone for our Department's past and future success is the close collaboration between our research groups and non-university institutions in the region. Among these are Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ, Europe's largest research centre for geosciences), Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research (Research Unit Potsdam), Federal Geological Survey, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK - Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung), German Weather Service, and German Aerospace Center (DLR - Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt).