Department News

EPS | The 2022-2023 Graduate Admissions Application is now open!

Learn more about how to apply to the Graduate Program in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

UC Davis extends remote instruction through January 28, 2022

Chancellor May’s Video Message Extending Remote Instruction posted 1/6/2022
Winter Quarter guidance | Campus Ready website

Deep Mantle Krypton Reveals Earth’s Outer Solar System Ancestry | Sandrine Péron

From UC Davis Letters and Science: "Krypton from the Earth’s mantle, collected from geologic hot spots in Iceland and the Galapagos Islands, reveals a clearer picture of how our planet formed, according to new research from the University of California, Davis." Sandrine Péron, lead author of the study, is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. Péron conducted the research at UC Davis as a postdoctoral fellow working with Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay. The study was published Dec. 16 in the journal Nature.

Evidence for Shared Earthquakes Between San Andreas and San Jacinto Faults | Alba Rodríguez Padilla

From UC Davis News: "The San Andreas and San Jacinto faults have ruptured simultaneously at least three times in the past 2,000 years, most recently in 1812, according to a new study by geologists at the University of California, Davis, and San Diego State University. The work was published Dec. 7 in the journal Geology. Large earthquakes involving multiple faults increase the threat of strong ground shaking. However, each of these faults on their own can generate a large-magnitude (7.5 or above) earthquake, said Alba Rodríguez Padilla, a graduate student at UC Davis and first author on the paper."

Dawn Sumner photo portrait

Dawn Sumner | Astrobiology in the Field, Episode 2: Greenland

From NASA Astrobiology: "This expedition is the second installment of the NASA Astrobiology video documentary series Astrobiology in the Field. This series aims to showcase the amazing analogue environments and the interesting field work being conducted all over the world by NASA scientists; work that directly informs NASA missions to discover extraterrestrial life in the Universe." Dawn Sumner is a member of a team of astrobiologists, led by Dr. Abigail Allwood from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who travel into the wilderness of Greenland to investigate claims of biosignatures in 3.7 billion year old rocks.

Kari Cooper photo portrait

Kari Cooper | Putting Science Into Practice: Preparing for Volcanic Eruptions

From UC Davis Letters and Science: "Coordinating the emergency response to an erupting volcano is an all-hands-on-deck affair that leaves little time for extra work, such as answering boatloads of inquiries from researchers who want to collect rock samples. On the other hand, science done during eruptions provides essential data for understanding and forecasting future volcanic flare-ups. To help balance these interests, scientists like Kari Cooper, professor of earth and planetary sciences at UC Davis, are exploring how to prioritize public safety while maximizing the limited time and access for collecting data and samples."

Qing-zhu Yin photo portrait

Qing-zhu Yin | Dwarf Planet Vesta Is a Window to the Early Solar System

Qing-Zhu Yin is a study co-author. From the Egghead blog: The dwarf planet Vesta is helping scientists better understand the earliest era in the formation of our solar system. Two recent papers involving UC Davis scientists use data from meteorites derived from Vesta to resolve the "missing mantle problem" and push back our knowledge of the solar system to just a couple of million years after it began to form. The papers were published in Nature Communications Sept. 14 and Nature Astronomy Sept. 30.

Magali Billen photo portrait

Magali Billen | Deepest earthquake ever detected struck 467 miles beneath Japan

Magali Billen comments on the deepest earthquake ever detected, described recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. From National Geographic: "One spring evening six years ago, hundreds of miles underground, our planet began to rumble from a series of peculiar earthquakes. Most of Earth's temblors strike within a few dozen miles of the surface, but these quakes stirred at depths where temperatures and pressures grow so intense that rocks tend to bend rather than break."

Rob Zierenberg photo portrait

Robert Zierenberg | Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Pescadero Basin

Robert Zierenberg is part of the team of interdisciplinary researchers and engineers aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's R/V Falkor. From the Schmidt Ocean Institute: "The Auka Vent field is a series of hydrothermal vents located in Pescadero Basin, one of several small ocean basins in the tectonically active Gulf of California (GOC)...They plan to map the neighboring Carmen and Farallon Basins, characterize heat flow in the Pescadero Basin, and examine hydrothermal vent microbiology and ecology in the Auka and JaichMaa ’ja’ag fields in order to further our understanding of these recently discovered hydrothermal systems." ROV Dive videos | Surreal Deep Sea Discoveries Include Glitter Worms and Upside-Down Lakes

Dawn Sumner photo portrait

Dawn Sumner | Feminist Research Institute

From FRI: "The Feminist Research Institute is pleased to introduce Professor Dawn Sumner and Professor Colleen Clancy as interim co-directors of FRI. 'We are proud and excited that Dawn and Colleen have agreed to further support FRI by serving as interim co-directors during the 2021-2022 academic year,” said Associate Director Sarah McCullough. 'Their commitment to values-based research and teaching have inspired us and others, and we feel confident that they will contribute to our research, research development and training initiatives.'"

Isabel Montañez photo portrait

Isabel Montañez | The Climate Archive of Caves

From UC Davis Unfold Podcast: ‘Nature Tells Its Story, Part 2’. "California boasts hundreds of caves, many of them hidden in the Sierra Nevada foothills. These caves hold much more than beautiful icicle-like stalactites and stalagmites. Trapped inside the stalagmites are tiny droplets of fossilized precipitation from climates long ago. In “Nature Tells Its Story, Part 2” of Unfold, UC Davis researchers discuss how these water droplets provide a “climate archive” that may help us predict future shifts in rain, snow and drought." In this episode: Isabel Montañez, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Barbara Wortham, doctoral student, UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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