History & Mission
Founded in 1994, the Berkeley Geochronology Center (BGC) is a non-profit scientific research institution dedicated to establishing the history of the Earth, its various inhabitants, and its interactions with the rest of our Solar System, throughout the 4.6 billion years of our Planet's existence. Using the most advanced technology available, BGC scientists determine the ages of rocks and other materials to date important events in geological and biological history. Through understanding such information in geologic context, BGC research provides key insights into such processes as continental drift, volcanism, mountain building, mass extinctions, climate change, and the evolution of humankind itself. Geochronology is critical not only to establishing the time axis along which these various phenomena occur, but also to determining the relationships among them. Close collaboration by BGC staff with other scientists in universities and government research laboratories around the world is a hallmark of much of our research, and both graduate students and postdoctoral scholars contribute as guest researchers. In addition to problem-targeted research, innovation in theoretical as well as technological aspects of geochronology is vigorously pursued at the BGC.