Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences


The Department of Earth Sciences is involved in three basic activities: scientific research, education, and community service.  In the area of public service, the faculty advises state agencies and communities over a range of matters, such as waste disposal, lake restoration, groundwater protection, conservation of natural resources, and exploration of the state's mineral resources.  In addition, the faculty and graduate students in the department cordially make time for the general public in the identification of rocks and possible meteorites as well as other areas of outreach which are listed below.


The MESA Program

MESA (Make Earth Science Accesible) is a program through the N.H. Winchell School of Earth Sciences whose  initiatives are to make educational and research material accessible to the public through a series of exhibits in and around John T. Tate Hall on the east bank of the UMN Twin Cities campus. More information can be found on the MESA webpage.  If you have any questions about the MESA program, please contact Ikuko Wada, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities via e-mail: or by phone at: 612.301.9535



Rock and Meteorite Identification

The Department of Earth Sciences has some faculty members who provide outreach in the form of rock and meteorite identification. 


If you have an item you would like help identifying, please send 3-5 clear pictures of the rock with a detailed description to Please include a picture of the rock next to a coin or a ruler to show the size of the rock.  If your pictures are not clear or you do not provide enough information, we will not be able to begin the process of identifying the item.  We DO NOT buy rocks from the public.


Please keep in mind that these faculty member are first and foremost professors and researchers who have very busy schedules including teaching, research and fieldwork.  This means that they may take longer to respond to inquires and will only be able to provide outreach when available. Please understand if they are unable to work with you immediately. If you have any further questions, please call 612-624-1333 to speak with the front desk.





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