The Berkeley Geochronology Center (BGC) is a unique place. It is the only institution in the world that is wholly dedicated to deciphering the history of the Earth and our nearby planetary neighbors. The vast history encompassed by this mission requires diverse tools, and BGC thus houses a singular array of techniques and expertise to place important events into timescales ranging from relatively recent times, i.e., thousands of years ago, to that of the early stages of our Solar System billions of years ago.

Much of our work is focused on fundamental scientific questions such as what caused mass extinctions in the past, when and why massive volcanism occurred on Earth, and what was the history of bombardment of the Earth (and our nearby neighbors like the Moon) by extraterrestrial objects. Better understanding of these phenomena and their possible interrelationships relies to large extent on establishing their timing. Much of our work is also focused on issues relevant to societal concerns such as volcanic and seismic hazards, and global climate change.

Research Areas



Planetary Science

Rock Magnetism & Paleomagnetism


Time Scale


BGC is funded by private donations and grants from the National Science Foundation and other agencies. If you are interested in supporting BGC's work click here, or email info@bgc.org.

Contributions to BGC are tax deductible under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

Tel: 510-644-9200
Fax: 510-644-9201

2455 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709