Our Vision and Mission Statement

Together we create and share knowledge at the forefront of Earth and Planetary Sciences to cultivate informed stewardship and inspire curiosity.

We provide a world-class, stimulating intellectual and educational environment that prioritizes people. As a community we are committed to conducting cutting-edge research in Earth and Planetary Sciences to address challenging scientific and societal problems.

View our Strategic Plan

The 2023-2024 Graduate Admissions Application is now open! Learn more about how to apply to the Graduate Program in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Department News

Announcing: The Louise H. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Geophysics

We are proud to announce the search for a new faculty member to fill the Louise H. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Geophysics. The endowed chair is made possible by a $2 million gift from Doug Neuhauser, Kellogg’s husband honoring her legacy as an inspiring geophysicist, mentor, and leader, dedicated to increasing equity, inclusion, and diversity throughout the scientific community. The area of geophysics for this position is very much open, as we see many different opportunities for synergy and growth given the broad range of research directions currently represented in our department and other opportunities on campus. The appointee is expected to develop and maintain a vigorous externally funded research program, to engage students through teaching and mentoring at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to provide visionary leadership that enriches and expands scientific excellence in the geophysics community and beyond. More information about the position can be found online through UC Recruit via the job listing https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF0589.

Sarah Stewart Named American Physical Society Fellow for Research on Evolution of Planetary Systems

For her landmark work in the development and application of shock physics techniques to explain the origin and evolution of planetary systems, Sarah Stewart has been selected as an American Physical Society Fellow.

The prestigious honor is one that no more than half of one percent of the society’s membership (excluding student members) are nominated for each year.

Stewart's nomination stems from her revolutionary theory that the moon formed within the Earth when the planet existed as an astronomical object called a synestia.

Full article available here

Congratulations to Joy Foluso, who was awarded the E-an Zen Geoscience Outreach grant from GSA!

For the fifth year (starting in 2018) the Geology and Society Division has administered the E-an Zen Geoscience Outreach Grant (also known as the E-an Zen Fund Supporting Geoscience Communication). This important GSA Award seeks to fund, annually, two projects that communicate geoscience information to the lay public with the express purpose of promoting the understanding of the geosciences and its relevance to society. The awards are in the amount of $1,500. Geology and Society Division is pleased to be able to support the following outreach projects for 2023:

Geoscience Outreach to Teenagers in Abeokuta City, Ogun State, Nigeria

Proposed by Joy Foluso, PhD, the project will enhance science literacy in high school students in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, using hands-on learning to show how geoscientists can address environmental problems resulting from anthropogenic climate change. Students will learn how to collect, analyze, interpret and present geoscientific data through their participation in a one-day workshop.

Congratulations to Tessa Hill, who has been awarded the Rachel Carson Lecture at the Fall 2023 AGU meeting!

Congratulations to Tessa Hill, who has been awarded the Rachel Carson Lecture at the Fall 2023 AGU meeting! The lecture recognizes women doing cutting-edge research in ocean science.

More information (from the AGU website):
The Rachel Carson Lecture is presented annually and recognizes cutting-edge work in ocean science research by a scientist who identifies as a woman. Named in honor of the life and work of marine biologist, Rachel Louise Carson, this lecture is presented by a scientist whose work in the field of ocean science is particularly relevant to current societal concerns.

The Carson Lecture is given during the AGU Annual Meeting, and the named lecturer is recognized at the Ocean Sciences section luncheon during AGU's annual meeting. https://www.agu.org/Honors/carson

Dr. Barbara Ratschbacher awarded Revitalization Research Program Grants

Assistant Professor Barbara Ratschbacher researches continental crust formation in subduction zones, which are collision areas between two tectonic plates. Ratschbacher plans to use the research funds to further work on subsurface magma reservoir processes and how those processes relate to volcanic eruptions and hazards.

“High-silica volcanic rocks have a heavier and more variable iron [Fe] isotope composition than high-silica plutonic rocks (magmas that stall and solidify in the crust instead of erupting),” said Ratschbacher. “The process responsible for this observation is controversial, but one hypothesis states that crystal-liquid separation is the driver of the Fe-isotope fractionation. Crystal-liquid separation is a key process in producing the observed range of volcanic and plutonic rock compositions, and if this hypothesis is correct, Fe isotopes will provide insights into how this process operates.”

More information can be found here

Professor & Department Chair Dr. Kari Cooper | Deciphering the Black Box of Volcanoes: Kari Cooper Receives Norman L. Bowen Award

Our own Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Kari Cooper, a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America, has now won the American Geophysical Union’s Norman L. Bowen Award, which honors a mid-career or senior scientist for outstanding contributions to the fields of petrology, volcanology and geochemistry. You can read an article about Dr. Cooper on the UC Davis College of Letters and Science website and you can find out more about the Norman L. Bowen Award here.

Congratulations to the following graduate students who received prestigious fellowships and awards in 2022-2023:

Tessa Brunoir - Paleontological Society Research Grant

Hannah Kempf - California Sea Grant Award

Christian Kroemer - 2023 NASA FINESST fellow.

Yvonne Leon - AGeS Research Grant

Sierra Rack - AGeS Research Grant

Jackie Ramatlapeng - 2023 National Geographic Society Wayfinder award.

Alba M. Rodriguez Padilla - Outstanding student presentation award at the 2022 and 2023 Seismological Society of America's Annual Meeting.

Elaine Young - 3rd position at the GSA Fall 2022 Meeting Geologic Map Competition.

Meghan Zulian - UC Davis Dissertation Year Fellowship 2023-2024

Meghan Zulian - UC Davis Public Scholars for the Future Award 2022

Meghan Zulian - Melbourne R. Carriker Student Research Award in Malacology 2023