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Cindy Fox Aisen
School of Science at IUPUI

Last modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New IUPUI Ph.D. program in applied earth sciences one of first in U.S.

Oct. 6, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the nation's first doctoral programs in applied earth sciences, merging geoscience, geoinformatics and human health, has been established in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

IUPUI Science

The unique interdisciplinary doctoral program is designed to prepare individuals for teaching, research, industrial and policy careers that apply environmental aspects of earth sciences, biology and chemistry for the benefit of the individuals who live and work in that environment.

"Our new degree program in applied earth sciences offers a unique transdisciplinary perspective to contemporary problems in water quality management, pollution remediation and human health," said Kevin Mandernack, newly appointed chair of the Department of Earth Sciences. "The earth sciences faculty have a broad range of expertise and have established productive collaborations with faculty in other departments within the School of Science, School of Engineering and the IU School of Medicine, that make it eminently qualified to produce unique and significant contributions in applied geosciences."

Doctoral candidates in applied earth sciences will explore the complex interactions between earth's surface and the plants, animals and human beings who occupy it. Study concentrations include water resources research and environmental health sciences. These areas of concentration are supported by the Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Center for Urban Health, both Signature Centers on the IUPUI campus and both directed by faculty in earth sciences.

"This is among a small handful of Ph.D. programs in applied earth sciences in this country, a distinction that IUPUI is particularly well suited for given the wide range of programs we offer throughout the School of Science and our success in building top-quality research programs that are national and international in scope," said Gabriel Filippelli, professor of earth sciences and former department chair, who was instrumental in developing the proposal for the department's doctoral degree program.

Filippelli noted that "this program will engage faculty and students from across the physical, natural and health sciences to develop science-based solutions to the great current and future challenges to environmental and human health."

Commencing in January 2011 the School of Science at IUPUI will accept applications for the new program. When fully implemented the program will enroll 20 doctoral candidates in applied earth sciences.