ST. CLOUD -- This is Earth Science Week. The theme for this week is "Earth Materials in Our Lives".

Sarah Gibson is a professor who specializes in paleontology at St. Cloud State University. She says most people would be surprised how much we use the earth's materials every day.

Maybe you have granite countertops, that's an obvious piece of rock in your house.  Things that you might not think about are for example our cellphones have like 75 or 80 different minerals that are mined from the earth and used in chip components.

A lot of research into our planet's past is being done right here in town at St. Cloud State University. She says there's saying that the past is the key to the present and the present is the key to the future. She says there's a lot to learn yet about a mass extinction event that happened 250 million years ago.

It killed about 95 percent of life on the planet, but of that five percent that survived it went on to diversify and explode in terms of the number of species and all of the organisms that are here today are descendants of that five percent that survived that mass extinction event.

Geologists, meteorologists, paleontologists, and astronomers are all part of the Earth Sciences.

Students who graduate from the Earth Sciences program at SCSU can go into a wide variety of careers including the oil, gas and petroleum companies, surveying and land planning, metal mining companies, or working for government agencies like MnDOT or the DNR.

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