Program Overview 

The state of Bahia has one of the most interesting and diversified geological backgrounds in Brazil. Most of the state is located inside the São Francisco Craton, an important geotectonic and metallogenic unit of South America, including also part of the Brasilano fold belts that surrounds the craton. This geotectonic unit is responsible for a significant part of the country’s mineral production also enabling the study of its igneous and metamorphic terrains, as well as its metallogenic provinces.

Bahia also has the most extensive coastline in the country, holding a wide array of ecosystems and depositional environments. This includes the most important reef-building corals of the South Atlantic Ocean, estuaries and bays, deltas, mangroves, and dunes, all of them exhibiting a complex evolutionary history, shaped by the climatic variability and the Quaternary  sea level history.

The state of Bahia is faced with the challenges posed by the need to explore and inventory the mineral and energy resources associated with its phanerozoic marginal basins, the coastal and marine environment and the São Francisco Craton, maintaining at the same time the adequate balance with environmental conservation and environmental sustainability, particularly in areas of great environmental relevance such as Chapada Diamantina and Abrolhos reef complex.

Several international cooperation agreements were invaluable for the creation of the Program by allowing participation of several foreign visiting professors and researchers such as: DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdient – Germany), CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), ORSTOM-IRD (Office de la recherche scientifique et technique outre-mer –  Institut de recherche pour le développement –  France), COFECUB (Comité Français d'Evaluation de la Coopération Universitaire et Scientifique avec le Brésil), and the Italian Republic.

These agreements and the financial support received from Brazilian funding agencies (FINEP, BNDES, CNPq, CAPES, and Bahia state government) allowed the creation of the Graduate Program in Geology in 1976, offering initially only Master’s degrees in Sedimentology and Economic Geology. The majority of the first students graduated by the Program later enrolled in PhD programs  overseas, mainly in the USA, France, and Germany. Later, upon their return to Brazil, they joined the Program’s faculty thus providing the adequate conditions for the implementation of the Doctoral Program in 1992, with the same two areas of concentration.

The Program’s first master thesis was defended in 1977 by Altair de Jesus Machado, which later became faculty of the program. Her thesis titled “Estudo dos sedimentos recentes e dos foraminíferos da praia de Inema” (Study of recent sediments and foraminifera on Inema beach), was supervised by Professor Geraldo da Silva Vilas Boas, Ph.D.

            The Program's first Doctoral Dissertation was defended  in 1996, by ?????????. It was titled “O Complexo Caraíba e a Suíte São José do Jacuípe no cinturão Salvador-Curaçá (Bahia, Brasil): Petrologia, Geoquímica e Potencial Metalogenético” (The Caraíba complex and São José do Jacuípe suite in the Salvador-Curaçá belt (Bahia, Brazil): Petrology, Geochemistry, and Metallogenic Potential) and was supervised by Professor Pierre Sabaté, Ph.D., through the Brazil-France Technical Cooperation Program/CNPq/ORSTOM agreement.

The curriculum of the Program underwent significant changes in 2004, in order to keep attuned with the transformations experienced by the Geosciences, particularly   with the increase in environmental awareness. Three areas os concentration were created: Marine, Coastal, and Sedimentary Geology; Petrology, Metallogeny, and Mineral Exploration; and Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology, and Water Resources.

These changes helped the Program to start providing capacity building, adequate support and answers to increasing societal demands in the areas of environmental preservation, environmental impact assessment related to mineral extraction and multiple uses of the coastal zone, water resources and aquifer management

Thus the Program’s mission is to train experts and develop research aimed at finding and promoting the use of our natural resources on a local, regional, and national level while offering scientific solutions to the critical environmental conflicts related to the exploitation of these resources.

In its 44 years of existence, the Graduate Program in Geology has produced a significant impact on the generation of scientific knowledge, and support to the environmental conservation and socioeconomic development of the state of Bahia and the Northeast region of Brazil. Our major achievements include:


1) The PPPG-UFBA was the first graduate program in geology of the Northeast region of Brazil;

2) More than  three hundred Master’s and Doctoral degrees were granted to researchers who now work in the mineral and oil industries, in environmental conservation, and teaching in  public and private schools and universities;

3) The Program has assisted  in the creation of public policies for mineral exploration,  environmental conservation and natural resources management in Bahia and the Brazilian territory;

4) Production of a voluminous scientific knowledge published in local, regional, and international literature, including high-impact journals;

5) Collaboration with civil society demands and diffusion of Geosciences education in elementary and high schools;

6) Developing partnerships with municipalities focused in providing technical support for the environmental assessment and mitigation of mining activities, and territorial planning and management.

The  Program is continuously improving its academic and scientific relevance on a regional, national, and international scale through public bids from national funding agencies (CAPES, FINEP, FAPESB, CNPq), funding of individual research projects, international partnerships, and also projects aimed to improve infrastructure, such as CT-Infra. The Program has also secured several institutional partnerships with national and international universities, and with companies of the productive sector, promoting staff training to improve social integration and strengthen institutional ties.