The School of Earth and Space Sciences(SESS), Peking University, was merged with the former geology department and three majors, geophysics, space physics, and remote sensing&geographic information system on October 26th, 2001.
Geology department It was established in 1909, the first geology educational institution in China. Geology department has a glorious history and has contributed greatly... to the impetus and development of geology of China. Since the founding of the new China in 1949, the school has brought up over 50 academicians and many distinguished scholars. It has become the cradle of the “Geology Education” in China. And in 2009 the research group from the Geology department was elected as an Innovational Research Team by National Science Foundation China.
Geophysics It was established in 1956,and developed into Theoretical and Application Geophysics Institute in 2001.It got the “National Key Disciplines” in 2001 and 2007 which was assessed by China Ministry of Education, and that was the only one in China. In 2004 and 2012, it was ranked No.1 in national first-level discipline assessment. And in 2006, the research group from the Application Geophysics Institute was elected as an Innovational Research Team by National Science Foundation China.
Space Physics It was founded in 1959, and developed into Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology in 2001. It played an important role in national space project, such as The “Kua-Fu” Plan. In 2012, it was ranked the first place in the space physics program category according to the National Department of Education. The research group from the space physics institute was elected as an Innovational Research Team by National Science Foundation China in 2014.
Sensing & Geographic Information System Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (IRSGIS) was established in 1983, and was renamed to Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS in 1994. It is one of the earliest departments in China dedicating to research and teaching of spatial information science and technology. In 2001, at the same time of the SESS foundation, IRSGIS succeeded applying for Beijing Key Lab of Spatial Information Integration and 3S Application.
After reorganizing, SESS strengthened its disciplinary structure and covered comprehensive disciplines in earth sciences. Now it owns one national talent training centre on basic sciences ( in the field of geology ), three innnovation groups awarded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( in the field of geophysics, geology and space Physics), three national key disciplines(geology, solid earth physics and geographic information system), one key laboratory under the Ministry of Education ( in the sphere of orogenic belt and crustal evolution ), one Beijing key laboratory of Spatial Information Integration and 3S Application and a key discipline of Beijing, space physics. According to the news released by Elsevier, 6 professors from the SESS are included in 2014 “Most Cited Chinese Researchers” in the Earth And Planetary Sciences. In the “ESI”, earth sciences of Peking University , was ranked on top 1.3‰ in the world, and in the QS, was ranked in the 44th place, the only one which are within top 50 in the Chinese Mainland.