School of Geological Sciences and Engineering

MISSION

Goal:  We aim to be one of the top 20 Geoscience programs in the world by year 2020.

The School of Geological Sciences and Engineering at Yachay Tech is part of the great initiative to transform research and technological development in Ecuador and the Northern part of South America, by training professional geologists and geological engineers with a high scientific leadership ability, capable of strengthening and transforming the economy and benefiting society from the understanding of Earth and its resources. The school has professors and researchers recognized worldwide for the impact of their research and their experience in teaching geosciences. As the centerpiece of the school, students have high academic performance, innovative vision, critical training, and ethics, as well as the ability to interact in multidisciplinary and high impact projects.

The interests of the School of Geological Sciences and Engineering align closely with those of the nation of Ecuador.  We aim to provide world-class education to undergraduate and graduate students. We will undertake the highest level of research and will publish in the leading international journals. Working with government agencies (IPI’s), private companies, and other universities, home and abroad, we aim to improve productivity across many economic and social sectors in Ecuador.

Our fields of endeavor are broad and will encompass the entire range of both basic and applied geosciences. These paired (basic and applied) fields are listed here:

(1) Tectonics and petroleum geology. Basic scientific studies of the deep subsurface of Earth and application to enhanced oil and gas production and the occurrence of economically important minerals.  Applied studies of individual oil fields in cooperation with the oil industry will be coupled with more basic research on topics such as seismic reflection geophysics, fluid flow in porous and fractured rocks, hydrothermal geochemistry, sedimentary diagenesis, and biostratigraphy.

(2) Geohydrology. Basic hydrologic studies and application to water resources, hydropower, and aquifer contamination.  Establishment of long-term observational watersheds in a variety of terrains across the nation will provide the basis for education, research, and application toward the goals of clean water and clean energy for Ecuador and other Andean nations.

(3) Geothermal studies and volcanology. Developing geothermal resources is naturally paired with a deeper scientific understanding of volcanic processes and mitigation of volcanic risk.

(4) Climate and climate change.  Natural climate/hydrologic variability and anthropogenic climate change are significant issues worldwide and to Ecuador.  As a producer and exporter of fossil fuels, it is incumbent upon us to also become leaders of technology for renewable energy, sustainable planning and infrastructure, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.  Monitoring and understanding regional and global climate and climate change and developing strategies for mitigating climate change within the framework of the Andean Sustainable Development Solutions Network (housed in our School) are part of our leadership role.

(5) Seismology Almost all of Ecuador is located within a region of significant and high seismicity.  Research in seismology, monitoring of seismic activity, education about seismic risk, and dissemination of seismic engineering best practices including better planning of cities and civil engineering projects, are all parts of our mission.

(6) Economic geology, mineral resources, and mining.  Mineral resources provide a potential and relatively untapped growth area for the economy of Ecuador.  We will work alongside INIGEMM to explore for mineral resources.  At the same time, we will remain mindful of potential conflicting interests between mineral resource development and other social, economic, and environmental interests.  We will undertake basic research on the geochemistry of ore-forming fluids, the tectonic setting of ore deposition, and the geologic conditions that bring about natural beneficiation of ore deposits.

(7) Soil Science and agricultural productivity.  Basic science will be undertaken on hydrology, chemistry, and soil science with the aim of improving productivity and adding value to agricultural products that will enhance this backbone of the Ecuadorean economy.  Policy solutions will be sought that will minimize soil erosion and degradation.

(8) Marine geology, geophysics, and marine resources Below the seafloor, the territory of Ecuador is tectonically unique, including oceanic spreading centers, oceanic fracture zones, mantle-derived volcanic hot spots, aseismic ridges, and subduction zones.  A major focus of our basic research will be undertaking detailed marine geological, geophysical and geochemical surveys of the seafloor within the territory of Ecuador.  More applied research will be undertaken on the impact of climate change on coastal communities.  Marine productivity is of great economic importance to Ecuador and we will focus studies on the coupled physical/biological oceanography of the coastal upwelling zone.  One of the biggest initiatives of our School will be to establish a Yachay Marine Sciences Center, likely to be located in Manta.

(9) Tropical biodiversity Yachay Tech is located in the midst of the incomparable biotic diversity of Ecuador.  Hand-in-hand with the School of Biological Sciences and Engineering, we will undertake programs of study on historical, current, and future biodiversity and its conservation in the Galapagos, the Chocó, the Paramos, the Andes, and the Amazon.  The School has a special interest in science and conservation in the Galapagos.  The School will lead these efforts as a part of our leadership of the Andean Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

(10) Geosciences education and society.  Of foremost importance for our School is providing a top-notch education for our undergraduate and graduate geosciences students so they will be globally competitive.  We will also undertake outreach for the education of all the citizens of Ecuador (and beyond) in societally-significant realms of geosciences.

VISION

Yachay Tech´s School of Geological Sciences and Engineering aims to be the leader in research of earth sciences and geological engineering, not only in Ecuador but ranked among the best Geology programs around the world. The production generated by its students, faculty, researchers, and graduates will be highly intellectual and will have a scientific, economic and social impact.

School of Geological Sciences and Engineering

NEWS

WE ARE

In a letter published in the journal Science, the authorities expressed their commitment to the institution

WE ARE

School faculty members and students took part in the technical visit

WE ARE

Camilo Montes, new head of the Geology department published in PLOS ONE

WE ARE

Edwin Cadena described turtle remains from Ecuadorian Pleistocene Epoch

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

PARTNERS

“I always wanted to try something different and the university’s educational model is totally different from what Ecuador was used to. Here I found everything I wanted: a university campus where I live with my colleagues and teachers, who in the future will also be colleagues. We can grow without fear, propose ventures and feel confident to express who we really are”.

Jair Aguirre

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