Earth and Planetary Sciences

Picnic Day 2018: College Events Donna Justice April 16, 2018
College of Letters and Science at Picnic Day 2018

Come celebrate with us and experience the richness of diversity and achievement at UC Davis and the surrounding community in the areas of research, teaching, service and campus life. More than 200 events will take place throughout campus and will include exhibits, shows, competitions, demonstrations, entertainment, animal and athletic events, the Student Organization Fair, the Children’s Discovery Fair, the Parade and much more.

Model of Blobs in Earth’s Interior Explains Unusual Pacific Volcanism

April 12, 2018
Deep inside the Earth are two huge blobs of dense rock splayed across the core-mantle boundary. A computer model from UC Davis project scientists Juliane Dannberg and Rene Gassmoeller, members of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, offers new insights into the relationship between the mantle blobs and the lava erupted at some Pacific islands.
Michael Poland: Life at the Living Edge Becky Oskin March 02, 2018
As a volcanologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and now scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Mike Poland (B.S. '97, Geology) is on the front line during hazardous volcanic events. Poland credits his "amazing professors" at UC Davis for teaching him how to communicate science clearly and vividly - an essential part of a career with the USGS.

A New Explanation For the Moon's Origins

February 28, 2018
A new explanation for the moon’s origin has it forming inside the Earth when our planet was a seething, spinning cloud of vaporized rock, called a synestia.

Rarity Can Be Key to Survival, Not Just Extinction

December 06, 2017
Some species have always been rare — occurring in small densities throughout their range — throughout their evolutionary history. A perspective paper from in the journal Ecology Letters suggests that for many species, rarity is not a guarantee of impending extinction.

Supercomputer Simulates Dynamic Magnetic Fields of Jupiter, Earth, Sun

November 09, 2017
As the Juno space probe approached Jupiter in June last year, researchers with the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics’ Dynamo Working Group — headquartered at UC Davis — were starting to run simulations of the giant planet’s magnetic field on one of the world’s fastest computers. While the timing was coincidental, the supercomputer modeling should help scientists interpret the data from Juno, and vice versa.

Explaining Life’s Rapid Evolution on Land

October 13, 2017
Although life arose in the sea, some of its most astonishing evolutionary leaps happened after organisms conquered land, according to UC Davis paleobiologist Geerat Vermeij. Drawing on his encyclopedic knowledge of evolutionary change in the fossil record, Vermeij has identified 11 major innovations that appeared first among terrestrial creatures.