Faculty in the department conduct field-based research on both land and sea throughout the world, as well as experimental studies of rock-forming processes, meteoritics and theoretical modeling. The department and its members maintain a variety of instrumentation for isotopic, and elemental analysis, as well as materials characterization. Several faculty are also active participants in national and international "large-scale" analytical facilities. The department typically enrols 35-40 graduate students (90% are full-time Ph.D.) per year. The students are an active group, both academically and socially. Students regularly present their research results at scientific meetings, attend workshops and participate in field trips throughout the world. On the home front, faculty, undergads and grads all get together on Friday afternoon for Rockfest, an informal seminar series, promoting lively discussion on a variety of research topics.