The School of Earth and Ocean Sciences was established in 1891. Its history has closely mirrored the evolution of Cardiff University to being the major research university in Wales and is now one of the leading research institutions in the UK rated 5A in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The School has maintained this international rating in the 2008 RAE. Fostering world class research enhances the student experience by having frontier earth scientists from a variety of disciplines involved in national and international research programmes teaching and researching alongside one another.
The School is located in the heart of the Civic Centre of Cardiff in the Main Building of the University. The building also includes the Science library and a 24-hour computing facility. It is located adjacent to the National Museum of Wales, with its superb geological collections.
Major research laboratory refurbishment includes extensive new geomicrobiology facilities, geochemical laboratories (ICP analysis), microscopy (HRTEM, FE-SEM, SEM, optical), stable isotope laboratory (C and O) and 3D semi-immersive visualisation laboratory. Major new equipment includes a high performance parallel computing cluster and state-of-the art upgrades for the 3D seismic laboratories. The School also owns a research vessel, Guiding Light, which is used for teaching practicals in coastal mapping and hydrographic surveying.
The School currently has a staff of more than 55 academics, including professors and two Fellows of the Royal Society. The current Head of School is Professor John Parkes.