A Message from the Director

Thank you for visiting our website. BGC is a unique institution that is solely dedicated to deciphering the history of the Earth. Our motivation is not just to put numbers on the timeline of our planet’s 4.6 billion year history, but rather to better understand the processes that have shaped the evolution of the physical planet and of life upon it. This may seem like an abstract exercise of purely intellectual interest, but in fact there are implications of great importance to humankind. Understanding how the Earth system works depends critically on factual, objective evidence. When and how fast events happened in Earth’s past is key to understanding how and why they happened. This in turn informs what we can expect in the future.


BGC’s research includes many studies aimed at determining the natural tempo, range and causes of Earth’s climate variability. This is important for understanding the background against which any human-caused effects must be measured. Related to this, we are contributing to a better understanding of when, why and how major changes- including mass extinctions- in the nature of Earth’s flora and fauna have occurred in the past. The disappearance of dinosaurs (except birds) 66 million years ago is an iconic example of the many such transitions Earth has experienced over geologic time. If we can better understand the exact mechanisms by which such events occur, we may be able to mitigate

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them in the future. In other words, nature has done myriad experiments on the durability of life, and we can learn from these experiments if we have a well-constrained timeline of events. Coincidence in time is a key test for causality in the Earth sciences. And our work extends beyond Earth, to studies of planetary near neighbors in our Solar System and how they interact with Earth.

 

Our work generally begins in the field, which can be literally any place on Earth, and comes to fruition in our specialized labs. We collaborate with colleagues all over the world, and our work is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These can be cryptic to non-specialists, but you can read more approachable accounts of some of our work here

 

If you believe as we do that facts matter, that learning from the history of our planet is valuable, and that policy involving planet Earth should be guided by objective data, please consider supporting BGC. Private philanthropy is becoming increasingly critical to funding science. Our research depends on ever-improving technology and sophisticated instruments that are expensive to purchase and maintain. Donations to BGC are tax-deductible under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code. For information on how to donate or what your support can do for our mission, please see here.

 

With my best regards,

Paul R. Renne, President

A Message from the Director

Thank you for visiting our website. BGC is a unique institution that is solely dedicated to deciphering the history of the Earth. Our motivation is not just to put numbers on the timeline of our planet’s 4.6 billion year history, but rather to better understand the processes that have shaped the evolution of the physical planet and of life upon it. This may seem like an abstract exercise of purely intellectual interest, but in fact there are implications of great importance to humankind. Understanding how the Earth system works depends critically on factual, objective evidence. When and how fast events happened in Earth’s past is key to understanding how and why they happened. This in turn informs what we can expect in the future.


BGC’s research includes many studies aimed at determining the natural tempo, range and causes of Earth’s climate variability. This is important for understanding the background against which any human-caused effects must be measured. Related to this, we are contributing to a better understanding of when, why and how major changes- including mass extinctions- in the nature of Earth’s flora and fauna have occurred in the past. The disappearance of dinosaurs (except birds) 66 million years ago is an iconic example of the many such transitions Earth has experienced over geologic time. If we can better understand the exact mechanisms by which such events occur, we may be able to mitigate them in the future. In other words, nature has done myriad experiments on the durability of life, and we can learn from these experiments if we have a well-constrained timeline of events. Coincidence in time is a key test for causality in the Earth sciences. And our work extends beyond Earth, to studies of planetary near neighbors in our Solar System and how they interact with Earth.

 

Our work generally begins in the field, which can be literally any place on Earth, and comes to fruition in our specialized labs. We collaborate with colleagues all over the world, and our work is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These can be cryptic to non-specialists, but you can read more approachable accounts of some of our work here

 

If you believe as we do that facts matter, that learning from the history of our planet is valuable, and that policy involving planet Earth should be guided by objective data, please consider supporting BGC. Private philanthropy is becoming increasingly critical to funding science. Our research depends on ever-improving technology and sophisticated instruments that are expensive to purchase and maintain. Donations to BGC are tax-deductible under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code. For information on how to donate or what your support can do for our mission, please see here.

 

With my best regards,

Paul R. Renne, President

President_edited.jpg