Department News

Geerat Vermeij portrait

Geerat Vermeij | National Academy of Sciences, 2022 Member

Geerat Vermeij has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his outstanding contributions to paleobiology. Members of the National Academy of Sciences are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The organization is the oldest scientific academy in the U.S., and membership is considered among the highest national honors for scientists.

Professors for the Future | Elaine Young

EPS graduate student Elaine Young is a 2022-23 UC Davis Professors for the Future Fellow. Professors for the Future (PFTF) is a year-long competitive fellowship program designed to recognize and develop the leadership skills of outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated their commitment to professionalism, integrity, and academic service.

AAUW International Doctoral Fellowship | Goabaone Jaqueline Ramatlapeng

Goabaone Jaqueline (Jackie) Ramatlapeng has been selected as a 2022-23 recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Doctoral Fellowship. Since 1888, AAUW has been one of the largest funders of women’s graduate education, investing in women who go on to change the world.

Isabel Montañez photo portrait

Isabel Montañez | Carbon, Climate Change and Ocean Anoxia in an Ancient Icehouse World

From UC Davis News: A new study describes a period of rapid global climate change in an ice-capped world much like the present — but 304 million years ago. Within about 300,000 years, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels doubled, oceans became anoxic, and biodiversity dropped on land and at sea. “It was one of the fastest warming events in Earth’s history,” said Isabel Montañez, distinguished professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Montañez’s lab has studied the period from 300 million to 260 million years ago, when Earth’s climate went from a glacial icehouse to a hot, ice-free greenhouse. In 2007, they showed that the climate swung back and forth several times during this period. Read the paper (PNAS)

Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship | Goabaone Jaqueline Ramatlapeng

Goabaone Jaqueline (Jackie) Ramatlapeng is a Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellow. Goabaone (Jackie) is interested in investigating the spatial and temporal controls of river water chemistry in arid environments, focusing on the Okavango River flowing through the inland Okavango Delta in semi-arid Botswana. The Okavango Delta is the largest freshwater wetland ecosystem of international importance in Southern Africa and serves as an important source of potable water and food to nearby communities. Her research findings are instructive for water quality assessment and informing water management decisions by the Botswana Government and the Tri-country (Namibia, Angola and Botswana) of the Okavango River basin. The Faculty for the Future Fellowship program seeks to positively impact gender balance in science disciplines by reinforcing the presence and qualifications of women in developing and emerging economies. It aims to give the opportunity to scientific women from developing and emerging countries to pursue a PhD or a postdoc in the best universities abroad and to return to their home countries to contribute to its socio-economic development. 

UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences | Graduate, Professional Programs Rank Among ‘Best Graduate Schools’

In the U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 edition of Best Graduate Schools, UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences ranked 19th in earth sciences and debuted in two new specialties, geochemistry and environmental sciences, with 25th and eighth placements, respectively. Each set of rankings is based on different types of data, including expert opinions relating to a program’s academic excellence and statistical indicators that assess students and faculty achievements. Additionally, the 2022 QS World University Rankings by Subject ranked EPS in the top 50 in the world for geophysics and geology and 20th nationally for geophysics.

Sarah Stewart photo portrait

Sarah Stewart | A New Creation Story for the Earth and Moon

Winston Ko Public Lecture: A talk about the accidental discovery of a new type of astronomical object, called a synestia, that may save the idea of a giant impact and forever change the way you think about the birth of our planet.

Max Rudolph photo portrait

Max Rudolph | On icy moon Enceladus, expansion cracks let inner ocean boil out

From AGU: "In 2006, the Cassini spacecraft recorded geyser curtains shooting forth from “tiger stripe” fissures near the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus — sometimes as much as 200 kilograms of water per second. A new study suggests how expanding ice during millennia-long cooling cycles could sometimes crack the moon’s icy shell and let its inner ocean out, providing a possible explanation for the geysers." Max Rudolph is the lead author of the new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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