West Chester University


Sustainability Research in Geology and Astronomy

Department of Geology & Astronomy

Ever wonder what acid rain is, what is comes from, and how it can be avoided? Or perhaps you've observed the effects of acid mine drainage in your community. Weathering affects not only the natural landscape but also buildings and archeological monuments. Pollution remediation is an interdisciplinary activity that depends on understanding the interplay between chemistry, biology, weather and their effect on both natural and man-made materials.

Light Pollution

If you have ever travelled to the middle of no where - or at least far from urban areas - and looked up at the sky at night, you can understand why civilization has been mesermized by the bodies that make up the night sky. However, if you have only ever observed the sky through the interference provided by street lights and other artificial lights, then may have never realized just how amazing the constellations, moons, starts and galaxies truly are.

The problem of light pollution is even worse for astronomers, who have to fight this background noise to make their scientific observations. Of course, the best way to avoid it is to make your observations above the atmosphere all together. That is one reason why the Hubble Space Telescope has been such a tremendous asset to the astronomical community.

In this, the International Year of Astronomy it is a particularly good time to ponder the sky at night. And a good time to find a dark spot away from city lights to gaze at the stars.

Research at WCU

Learn more about light pollution in ESS 111. And if you want to know the impact of Dark Energy, check in with Professor Gagne.

The Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) and the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) at NSF seek to increase collaboration between the geosciences and the social and behavioral sciences by augmenting funding for interdisciplinary research related to Environment, Society, and the Economy.

These emerging and challenging problems require integration of concepts, observations, and modeling across diverse fields. GEO and SBE seek to promote interdisciplinary collaborations and integrative research that link the geosciences and the social and behavioral sciences in new and vital ways. Proposals that generate intellectual excitement in both the participating communities are sought. Also encouraged are proposals that have broad educational, societal, or infrastructure impacts that capitalize on this interdisciplinary opportunity.

Target and deadline dates for applicable programs may be found at and