Classes

The information below is provided for your convenience. Course schedules are subject to change. Official course information is published in the UC Davis General Catalog. Official course schedules are published on Schedule Builder and the Course Search Tool. Official UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences (GEL) class home pages are available on Canvas; access to the class sites may be restricted.


Undergraduate GEL Courses

Visit the pages for the Geology major, the Marine and Coastal Science major, or minors to plan your specific major classes.

Academic Year 2023-2024
  • Summer Field 2023 | Undergraduate
  • Summer 2023 | Undergraduate
    GEL 110A | Summer Field Geology: Structures & Neotectonics

    CRN: 60290
    Dates: Summer Special Session, June 19 - July 7, 2023 
    Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park
    Units: 4
    Course Description: Advanced application of geologic field methods to the study of deformed rocks and their interpretation in terms of tectonic processes. Includes development and interpretation of geologic maps, cross sections and stratigraphic sections. Six days/week for three weeks in an off-campus location.
    Prerequisite: GEL 060; GEL 103; GEL 109
    Instructor: Oskin
    Fees: In addition to the per unit Course Fee and Summer Campus Fee, this course has a program fee to partially cover transportation, lodging, and dinners while in the field. Health insurance is not included in this program fee.
    Fees for UC Undergraduate Students*:
        Course fee: $1,116 ($279 per unit x 4 units)
        Summer Campus fee: $373.19
        Program fee:  $600
        Total Fees Charged to UC Undergraduate Students: $2,089.19

        *Higher unit-based fees are charged to non-UC students: $357 per unit X 4 units. Total fees charged to non-UC students is $TBD.
    For refund information, see Summer Session
     

    Summer 2023 | Undergraduate
    GEL 110B | Summer Field Geology: Volcanology and Petrology
    CRN: 60291
    Dates: Summer Special Session, July 9 – July 29, 2023 (July 9th and 29th are travel days)
    Location: White Mountain Research Station, Bishop, CA
    Units: 4
    Course Description: Advanced application of geologic field methods to the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks and their interpretation in terms of igneous processes. Includes development and interpretation of geologic maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, and outcrop scale observations. Six days/week for three weeks in an off-campus location.
    Prerequisite: GEL 105; GEL 109
    Instructor: Ratschbacher
    Fees: In addition to the per unit Course Fee and Summer Campus Fee, this course has a program fee to partially cover transportation, lodging, and most meals while in the field. Health insurance is not included in this program fee.
    Fees for UC Undergraduate Students*:
        Course fee: $1,116 ($279 per unit x 4 units)
        Summer Campus fee: $373.19
        Program fee: $600
        Total Fees Charged to UC Undergraduate Students: $2,089.19
     
        *Higher unit-based fees are charged to non-UC students: $357 per unit X 4 units. Total fees charged to non-UC students is $TBD.
    For refund information, see Summer Sessions.


    Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.

  • Fall 2023 | Undergraduate
  • last updated 8/30/2023

    GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 005 — Mass Extinctions: Past & Future (2 units)
    Course Description: The big five mass extinctions that occurred in deep-time, with comparisons to the extinctions that are occurring currently. Similarities and dissimilarities between the past and modern extinctions.
    Prerequisite(s): Ability to interpret a table of data.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 010 — Modern & Ancient Global Environmental Change (3 units)
    Course Description: Fundamental scientific concepts underlying issues such as global warming, pollution, and the future of nonsustainable resources presented in the context of anthropogenic processes as well as natural forcing of paleoenvironmental change throughout Earth's history.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 025 — Geology of National Parks (3 units)
    Course Description: Appreciation of the geologic framework underlying the inherent beauty of U.S. National Parks. Relationship of individual parks to geologic processes such as mountain building, volcanism, stream erosion, glacial action and landscape evolution.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 028 — Astrobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Origin, evolution and distribution of life in our solar system and the Universe. Detecting habitable worlds, Drake equations, necessities and raw materials for life, philosophical implications of the search for life elsewhere.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 060 — Earth Materials: Introduction (4 units)
    Course Description: Physical and chemical properties of Earth materials; structure, chemical composition, and identification of rock-forming minerals; mineral-rock associations, and their origin from silicate liquids, aqueous fluids, and solid state transformations.
    Prerequisite(s): (CHE 002A or CHE 002AH or CHE 004A); (CHE 002B or CHE 002BH or CHE 004B); (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); (GEL 001 or GEL 050); GEL 050L.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 107L — Earth History: Paleobiology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Exercises in determining the ecological functions and evolution of individuals, populations, and communities of fossil organisms in field and laboratory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 107 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 131 — Risk: Natural Hazards & Related Phenomena (3 units)
    Course Description: Risk, prediction, prevention and response for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, storms, fires, impacts, global warming.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 140 — Introduction to Process Geomorphology (4 units)
    Course Description: Quantitative description and interpretation of landscapes with emphasis on the relationships between physical processes, mass conservation, and landform evolution. Topics covered include physical & chemical weathering, hillslopes, debris flows, fluvial systems, alluvial fans, pedogenesis, eolian transport, glaciation and Quaternary geochronology.
    Prerequisite(s): (GEL 001 or GEL 050); (MAT 016B or MAT 017B or MAT 019B or MAT 021B).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.

    GEL 144 — Historical Ecology (3 units)
    Course Description: Ancient ecosystems and the factors that caused them to change. Species, expansion, evolution of new modes of life, geologically induced variations in resource supply, and extinction provide historical perspective on the biosphere of future.
    Prerequisite(s): Upper division course in environmental science or ecology, or an introductory course in paleobiology.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    GEL 190 — Seminar in Geology (1 unit)
    Course Description: Presentation and discussion of current topics in geology by visiting lecturers, staff, and students. Written abstracts.
    Learning Activities: Discussion 1 hour(s), Seminar 1 hour(s).
    Repeat Credit: May be repeated.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

  • Winter 2024 | Undergraduate

  • last updated 8/30/2023

    GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 003 — History of Life (3 units)
    Course Description: The history of life during the three and onehalf billion years from its origin to the present day. Origin of life and processes of evolution; how to visualize and understand living organisms from their fossil remains.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 recommended.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).

    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 030 — Fractals, Chaos & Complexity (3 units)
    Course Description: Modern ideas about the unifying ideas of fractal geometry, chaos and complexity. Basic theory and applications with examples from physics, earth sciences, mathematics, population dynamics, ecology, history, economics, biology, computer science, art and architecture. Offered in alternate years.
    Prerequisite(s): MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 021A.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 3 hour(s).
    Cross Listing: PHY 030.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 053 — Introduction to Geobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to interactions between Earth and life with an emphasis on how metabolism, cellular processes, evolution and ecology emerged within natural environments and have changed Earth’s surface.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 002 or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 101 — Structural Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: Study of processes and products of rock deformation. Introduction to structural geology through a survey of the features and geometries of faults and folds, techniques of strain analysis, and continuum mechanics of rock deformation.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050; GEL 050L; (PHY 007A or PHY 009A); (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 35 students.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 101L — Structural Geology Lab (2 units)
    Course Description: Laboratory study of the processes and products of rock deformation. Introduction to the practice of structural geology through observations and analysis of rock deformation, including field measurement techniques and geologic mapping.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050; GEL 050L; (PHY 007A or PHY 009A); GEL 101 (can be concurrent); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 15 students per session.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 103 — Field Geology (4 units)
    Course Description: Field mapping projects and writing geological reports. Weekly classroom meetings devoted to preparation of maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, rock descriptions, and reports. Seven-eight days for field trips will occur on weekends during the quarter.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 101; GEL 101L.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 1 hour(s), Fieldwork 6 hour(s), Term Paper.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 105 — Earth Materials: Igneous Rocks (4 units)
    Course Description: Origin and occurrence of igneous rocks. Laboratory exercises emphasize the study of these rocks in hand specimen and thin section.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 060; (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); CHE 002B (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 107 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 107L — Earth History: Paleobiology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Exercises in determining the ecological functions and evolution of individuals, populations, and communities of fossil organisms in field and laboratory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 107 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE)

    GEL 116N — Oceanography (3 units)

    Course Description: Advanced oceanographic topics: Chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes; research methods and data analysis; marine resources, anthropogenic impacts, and climate change; integrated earth/ocean/atmosphere systems; weekly lab and one weekend field trip.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 002 or GEL 016 or GEL 016V or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Cross Listing: ESP 116N.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 133 — Environmental Geochemistry (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to Earth surface processes with a focus on topics of current environmental interest such as nuclear power and waste disposal, acid mine drainage, carbon sequestration, history of polar ice sheets and sea level change.
    Prerequisite(s): CHE 002A; CHE 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.

    GEL 141 — Evolutionary History of Vertebrates (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolutionary history of vertebrates; fossil record and phylogeny; timing of major evolutionary events; appearance of major vertebrate groups; physical constraints in vertebrate evolution; paleobiogeography of vertebrates; effect of continental movement on vertebrate evolution; dinosaurs and other strange vertebrates. Offered in alternate years.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 146 — Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry & Cosmochemistry (3 units)
    Course Description: Basic principles of nuclear chemistry and physics applied to geology to determine the ages of terrestrial rocks, meteorites, archeological objects, age of the Earth, to trace geological/environmental processes, and explain formation of the chemical elements in the Universe. Offered irregularly.
    Prerequisite(s): (CHE 002C or GEL 055); (PHY 007C or PHY 009C or GEL 056); (MAT 016C or MAT 017C or MAT 019C or MAT 021C).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 160 — Geological Data Analysis (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to quantitative methods in analyzing geological data including basic principles of statistics and probability, error analysis, hypothesis testing, inverse theory, time series analysis and directional data analyses.
    Prerequisite(s): (MAT 016A (can be concurrent) or MAT 017A (can be concurrent) or MAT 019A { can be concurrent } or MAT 021A (can be concurrent)); GEL 056; or prior introductory level programming in Python, Matlab, or R.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    GEL 190 — Seminar in Geology (1 unit)
    Course Description: Presentation and discussion of current topics in geology by visiting lecturers, staff, and students. Written abstracts.
    Learning Activities: Discussion 1 hour(s), Seminar 1 hour(s).
    Repeat Credit: May be repeated.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

  • Spring 2024 | Undergraduate
  • last updated 8/30/2023

    GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 020 — Geology of California (2 units)
    Course Description: The geologic history of California, the origin of rocks and the environments in which they were formed, the structure of the rocks and the interpretation of their structural history, mineral resources, and appreciation of the California landscape. Offered in alternate years.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 035 — Rivers (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to geomorphology, climate and geology of rivers and watersheds, with case examples from California. Assessment of impacts of logging, agriculture, mining, urbanization and water supply on river processes. Optional river field trips.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 036 — The Solar System (4 units)
    Course Description: Nature of the sun, moon, and planets as determined by recent manned and unmanned exploration of the solar system. Comparison of terrestrial, lunar, and planetary geological processes. Search for life on other planets. Origin and evolution of the solar system. (Former course GEL 113 & GEL 113G.)
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 103 — Field Geology (4 units)
    Course Description: Field mapping projects and writing geological reports. Weekly classroom meetings devoted to preparation of maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, rock descriptions, and reports. Seven-eight days for field trips will occur on weekends during the quarter.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 101; GEL 101L.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 1 hour(s), Fieldwork 6 hour(s), Term Paper.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 108 — Earth History: Paleoclimates (3 units)
    Course Description: Geological and environmental factors controlling climate change, the greenhouse effect with a detailed analysis of the history of Earth's climate fluctuations over the last 600 million years. Past and present climate records are used to examine potential future climatic scenarios.
    Prerequisite(s): (GEL 001 or GEL 050 or GEL 116N or ESP 116N); CHE 002A; consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 109 — Earth History: Sediments & Strata (3 units)
    Course Description: Sediment formation, transport, and deposition. Interpretations of sedimentary processes across landscapes and through time in the context of environmental and geological problems. Reconstruction of ancient environmental change from sedimentary rocks.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 109L — Earth History: Sediments & Strata Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Methods of stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis of modern and ancient sediments. Identification of major sediment and sedimentary rock types. Outcrop and subsurface analysis of sedimentary basins. GE credit with concurrent enrollment in GEL 109. Includes four one-day field trips.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050L; GEL 109 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 150A — Physical & Chemical Oceanography (4 units)
    Course Description: Physical and chemical properties of seawater, fluid dynamics, air-sea interaction, currents, waves, tides, mixing, major oceanic geochemical cycles.
    Prerequisite(s): (ESP 116N or GEL 116N); (PHY 007B or PHY 009B); (MAT 016C or MAT 017C or MAT 021C); (CHE 002C or GEL 055); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Cross Listing: ESP 150A.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 150B — Geological Oceanography (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the origin and geologic evolution of ocean basins. Composition and structure of oceanic crust; marine volcanism; and deposition of marine sediments. Interpretation of geologic history of the ocean floor in terms of sea-floor spreading theory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 or (GEL 116N or ESP 116N).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Cross Listing: ESP 150B.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    GEL 190 — Seminar in Geology (1 unit)
    Course Description: Presentation and discussion of current topics in geology by visiting lecturers, staff, and students. Written abstracts.
    Learning Activities: Discussion 1 hour(s), Seminar 1 hour(s).
    Repeat Credit: May be repeated.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

Academic Year 2024-2025
  • Summer Field 2024 | Undergraduate
  • GEL 110A — Summer Field Geology: Structures & Neotectonics (4 units)
    Course Description: Advanced application of geologic field methods to the study of deformed rocks and their interpretation in terms of tectonic processes. Includes development and interpretation of geologic maps, cross sections and stratigraphic sections. Six days/week for three weeks in an off-campus location.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 103; GEL 060 recommended.
    Instructor: Oskin
    Dates: Summer Special Session, June 17 - July 5, 2024 
    Location: Lassen
    Fees: In addition to the per unit Course Fee and Summer Campus Fee, this course has a program fee to partially cover transportation, lodging, and dinners while in the field. Health insurance is not included in this program fee.
    Fees for UC Undergraduate Students*:
        Course fee: TBD
        Summer Campus fee: TBD
        Program fee: TBD
        Total Fees Charged to UC Undergraduate Students: TBD
        *Higher unit-based fees are charged to non-UC students.
    For refund information and last day to drop for a full refund, see Summer Session
     

    GEL 110B — Summer Field Geology: Volcanology (4 units)
    Course Description: Advanced application of geologic field methods to the study of volcanic and plutonic rocks and their interpretation in terms of igneous processes. Includes development and interpretation of geologic maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, and outcrop scale observations. Six days/week for three weeks in an off-campus location.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 105; GEL 109
    Instructor: Cooper
    Dates: Summer Special Session, July 12 – August 2, 2024 
    Location: White Mountain Research Station
    Fees: In addition to the per unit Course Fee and Summer Campus Fee, this course has a program fee to partially cover transportation, lodging, and most meals while in the field. Health insurance is not included in this program fee.
    Fees for UC Undergraduate Students*:
        Course fee: TBD
        Summer Campus fee: TBD
        Program fee: TBD
        Total Fees Charged to UC Undergraduate Students: TBD
        *Higher unit-based fees are charged to non-UC students.
    For refund information and last day to drop for a full refund, see Summer Session


    Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved or proposed amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.

  • Summer Session 1 2024 | Undergraduate
  • GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

  • Summer Session 2 2024 | Undergraduate
  • GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 150C — Biological Oceanography (4 units)
    Course Description: Ecology of major marine habitats, including intertidal, shelf benthic, deep-sea and plankton communities. Existing knowledge and contemporary issues in research. Segment devoted to human use. One weekend field trip required.
    Prerequisite(s): BIS 002A; consent of instructor; a course in general ecology.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Cross Listing: ESP 150C.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

  • Fall 2024 | Undergraduate
  • GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 005 — Mass Extinctions: Past & Future (2 units)
    Course Description: The big five mass extinctions that occurred in deep-time, with comparisons to the extinctions that are occurring currently. Similarities and dissimilarities between the past and modern extinctions.
    Prerequisite(s): Ability to interpret a table of data.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 010 — Modern & Ancient Global Environmental Change (3 units)
    Course Description: Fundamental scientific concepts underlying issues such as global warming, pollution, and the future of nonsustainable resources presented in the context of anthropogenic processes as well as natural forcing of paleoenvironmental change throughout Earth's history.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 028 — Astrobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Origin, evolution and distribution of life in our solar system and the Universe. Detecting habitable worlds, Drake equations, necessities and raw materials for life, philosophical implications of the search for life elsewhere.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 060 — Earth Materials: Introduction (4 units)
    Course Description: Physical and chemical properties of Earth materials; structure, chemical composition, and identification of rock-forming minerals; mineral-rock associations, and their origin from silicate liquids, aqueous fluids, and solid state transformations.
    Prerequisite(s): (CHE 002A or CHE 002AH or CHE 004A); (CHE 002B or CHE 002BH or CHE 004B); (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); (GEL 001 or GEL 050); GEL 050L.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 107L — Earth History: Paleobiology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Exercises in determining the ecological functions and evolution of individuals, populations, and communities of fossil organisms in field and laboratory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 107 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 131 — Risk: Natural Hazards & Related Phenomena (3 units)
    Course Description: Risk, prediction, prevention and response for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, storms, fires, impacts, global warming.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 140 — Introduction to Process Geomorphology (4 units)
    Course Description: Quantitative description and interpretation of landscapes with emphasis on the relationships between physical processes, mass conservation, and landform evolution. Topics covered include physical & chemical weathering, hillslopes, debris flows, fluvial systems, alluvial fans, pedogenesis, eolian transport, glaciation and Quaternary geochronology.
    Prerequisite(s): (GEL 001 or GEL 050); (MAT 016B or MAT 017B or MAT 019B or MAT 021B).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.

    GEL 150A — Physical & Chemical Oceanography (4 units)
    Course Description: Physical and chemical properties of seawater, fluid dynamics, air-sea interaction, currents, waves, tides, mixing, major oceanic geochemical cycles.
    Prerequisite(s): (ESP 116N or GEL 116N); (PHY 007B or PHY 009B); (MAT 016C or MAT 017C or MAT 019C or MAT 021C); (CHE 002C or GEL 055); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Cross Listing: ESP 150A.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.General Educa
    tion:
     Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).


    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    last updated 11/30/2023

  • Winter 2025 | Undergraduate

  • GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 003 — History of Life (3 units)
    Course Description: The history of life during the three and onehalf billion years from its origin to the present day. Origin of life and processes of evolution; how to visualize and understand living organisms from their fossil remains.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 recommended.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 010 — Modern & Ancient Global Environmental Change (3 units)
    Course Description: Fundamental scientific concepts underlying issues such as global warming, pollution, and the future of nonsustainable resources presented in the context of anthropogenic processes as well as natural forcing of paleoenvironmental change throughout Earth's history.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 053 — Introduction to Geobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to interactions between Earth and life with an emphasis on how metabolism, cellular processes, evolution and ecology emerged within natural environments and have changed Earth’s surface.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 002 or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 101 — Structural Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: Study of processes and products of rock deformation. Introduction to structural geology through a survey of the features and geometries of faults and folds, techniques of strain analysis, and continuum mechanics of rock deformation.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050GEL 050L; (PHY 007A or PHY 009A); (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 35 students.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 101L — Structural Geology Lab (2 units)
    Course Description: Laboratory study of the processes and products of rock deformation. Introduction to the practice of structural geology through observations and analysis of rock deformation, including field measurement techniques and geologic mapping.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050GEL 050L; (PHY 007A or PHY 009A); GEL 101 (can be concurrent); consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 15 students per session.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 105 — Earth Materials: Igneous Rocks (4 units)
    Course Description: Origin and occurrence of igneous rocks. Laboratory exercises emphasize the study of these rocks in hand specimen and thin section.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 060; (MAT 016A or MAT 017A or MAT 019A or MAT 021A); CHE 002B (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 107 — Earth History: Paleobiology (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A or BIS 002B.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 107L — Earth History: Paleobiology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Exercises in determining the ecological functions and evolution of individuals, populations, and communities of fossil organisms in field and laboratory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 107 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 116N — Oceanography (3 units)
    Course Description: Advanced oceanographic topics: Chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes; research methods and data analysis; marine resources, anthropogenic impacts, and climate change; integrated earth/ocean/atmosphere systems; weekly lab and one weekend field trip.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 002 or GEL 016 or GEL 016V or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s), Laboratory 3 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Cross Listing: ESP 116N.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 141 — Evolutionary History of Vertebrates (3 units)
    Course Description: Evolutionary history of vertebrates; fossil record and phylogeny; timing of major evolutionary events; appearance of major vertebrate groups; physical constraints in vertebrate evolution; paleobiogeography of vertebrates; effect of continental movement on vertebrate evolution; dinosaurs and other strange vertebrates. Offered in alternate years.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 003 or GEL 053 or BIS 002A.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.Gra
    de Mode:
     Pass/No Pass only.

    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    GEL 198 — Math is FUNdamental (2 units)
    CRN: TBD

    GEL 198 — Effective Teaching Strategies (2 units)CRN:
    CRN: TBD


    last updated 11/30/2023

  • Spring 2025 | Undergraduate
  • GEL 001 — The Earth (4 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the study of the Earth. Earth's physical and chemical structure; internal and surface processes that mold the Earth; geological hazards and resources.Lea
    rning Activities:
     Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Cr
    edit Limitation(s):
     Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 050; only 2 credits for students who have taken GEL 002.

    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 012 — Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 016 — The Oceans (3 units)
    Course Description: Introductory survey of the marine environment. Oceanic physical phenomena, chemical constituents and chemistry of water, geological history, the seas biota and human utilization of marine resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Not open for credit to students who have taken GEL 116.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 017 — Earthquakes & Other Earth Hazards (2 units)
    Course Description: Impact of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, landslides, and floods on humans, structures, and the environment. Discussion of the causes and effects of disasters and catastrophes, and on prediction, preparation, and mitigation of natural hazards.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 020 — Geology of California (2 units)
    Course Description: The geologic history of California, the origin of rocks and the environments in which they were formed, the structure of the rocks and the interpretation of their structural history, mineral resources, and appreciation of the California landscape. Offered in alternate years.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 2 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 025 — Geology of National Parks (3 units)
    Course Description: Appreciation of the geologic framework underlying the inherent beauty of U.S. National Parks. Relationship of individual parks to geologic processes such as mountain building, volcanism, stream erosion, glacial action and landscape evolution.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL).

    GEL 032 — Volcanoes (3 units)
    Course Description: Role of eruptions, and eruptive products of volcanoes in shaping the planet's surface, influencing its environment, and providing essential human resources.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 035 — Rivers (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to geomorphology, climate and geology of rivers and watersheds, with case examples from California. Assessment of impacts of logging, agriculture, mining, urbanization and water supply on river processes. Optional river field trips.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 036 — The Solar System (4 units)
    Course Description: Nature of the sun, moon, and planets as determined by recent manned and unmanned exploration of the solar system. Comparison of terrestrial, lunar, and planetary geological processes. Search for life on other planets. Origin and evolution of the solar system. (Former course GEL 113 & GEL 113G.)
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s), Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 050 — Physical Geology (3 units)
    Course Description: The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics.
    Prerequisite(s): High school physics and chemistry.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for GEL 050.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 050L — Physical Geology Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Credit Limitation(s): Students with credit for GEL 001L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for GEL 050L.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 081 — Learning in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of how students learn and develop understanding in science and mathematics classrooms. Introduction to case studies and interview techniques and their use in K-6 classrooms to illuminate factors that affect student learning.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 26 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 081.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 103 — Field Geology (4 units)
    Course Description: Field mapping projects and writing geological reports. Weekly classroom meetings devoted to preparation of maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, rock descriptions, and reports. Seven-eight days for field trips will occur on weekends during the quarter.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 101GEL 101L.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 1 hour(s), Fieldwork 6 hour(s), Term Paper.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Visual Literacy (VL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 108 — Earth History: Paleoclimates (3 units)
    Course Description: Geological and environmental factors controlling climate change, the greenhouse effect with a detailed analysis of the history of Earth's climate fluctuations over the last 600 million years. Past and present climate records are used to examine potential future climatic scenarios.
    Prerequisite(s): (GEL 001 or GEL 050 or GEL 116N or ESP 116N); CHE 002A; consent of instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 109 — Earth History: Sediments & Strata (3 units)
    Course Description: Sediment formation, transport, and deposition. Interpretations of sedimentary processes across landscapes and through time in the context of environmental and geological problems. Reconstruction of ancient environmental change from sedimentary rocks.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 001 or GEL 050.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 109L — Earth History: Sediments & Strata Laboratory (2 units)
    Course Description: Methods of stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis of modern and ancient sediments. Identification of major sediment and sedimentary rock types. Outcrop and subsurface analysis of sedimentary basins. GE credit with concurrent enrollment in GEL 109. Includes four one-day field trips.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050LGEL 109 (can be concurrent).
    Learning Activities: Laboratory 6 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 120 — Origins: From the Big Bang to Today (3 units)
    Course Description: Long-term and large-scale perspectives on the origins of the universe, stars and planets, life, human evolution, the rise of civilization and the modern world. Multi-disciplinary approach to "Big History" involving cosmology, astronomy, geology, climatology, biology, anthropology, archeology and traditional history.
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited enrollment.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 146 — Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry & Cosmochemistry (3 units)
    Course Description: Basic principles of nuclear chemistry and physics applied to geology to determine the ages of terrestrial rocks, meteorites, archeological objects, age of the Earth, to trace geological/environmental processes, and explain formation of the chemical elements in the Universe. Offered irregularly.
    Prerequisite(s): (CHE 002C or GEL 055); (PHY 007C or PHY 009C or GEL 056); (MAT 016C or MAT 017C or MAT 019C or MAT 021C).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE); Quantitative Literacy (QL).

    GEL 150B — Geological Oceanography (3 units)
    Course Description: Introduction to the origin and geologic evolution of ocean basins. Composition and structure of oceanic crust; marine volcanism; and deposition of marine sediments. Interpretation of geologic history of the ocean floor in terms of sea-floor spreading theory.
    Prerequisite(s): GEL 050 or (GEL 116N or ESP 116N).
    Learning Activities: Lecture 3 hour(s).
    Cross Listing: ESP 150B.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Science & Engineering (SE).

    GEL 161 — Geophysical Field Methods (3 units)
    Course Description: Geophysical methods applied to determining subsurface structure in tectonics, hydrogeology, geotechnical engineering, and hydrocarbon & mineral exploration. Theory, survey design & interpretation of gravity, electrical resistivity, electromagnetic, reflection & refraction seismology, and ground-penetrating radar measurements.
    Prerequisite(s): (GEL 001 C- or better or GEL 050 C- or better); (MAT 016C C- or better or MAT 017C C- or better or MAT 019C C- or better or MAT 021C C- or better); (PHY 007A C- or better or PHY 009A C- or better); (PHY 007B C- or better or PHY 009B C- or better); (GEL 056 C- or better or PHY 007C C- or better or PHY 009C C- or better).
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 3 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Quantitative Literacy (QL); Science & Engineering (SE); Scientific Literacy (SL).

    GEL 181 — Teaching in Science & Mathematics (2 units)
    Course Description: Exploration of effective teaching practices based on examination of how middle school students learn math and science. Selected readings, discussion and field experience in middle school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor; major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork 2 hour(s).
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 181.
    Grade Mode: Pass/No Pass only.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 183 — Teaching High School Mathematics & Science (3 units)
    Course Description: Exploration and creation of effective teaching practices based on examination of how high school students learn mathematics and science. Field experience in high school classrooms.
    Prerequisite(s): Major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 2 hour(s), Fieldwork.
    Enrollment Restriction(s): Limited to 40 students per section.
    Cross Listing: EDU 183.
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS); Oral Skills (OL); Writing Experience (WE).

    GEL 186 — Facilitating Learning in STEM Classrooms (1 unit)
    Course Description: STEM Learning Assistant Seminar. Theoretical and practical issues of effective teaching in discussion/labs: student-centered, active, cooperative learning environments, responsive teaching, and differentiated classroom instruction.
    Learning Activities: Lecture/Discussion 1 hour(s).
    Grade Mode: Letter.
    General Education: Social Sciences (SS).

    last updated 11/30/2023

Graduate GEL Courses

Graduate Course requirements

See https://eps.ucdavis.edu/students/grad/handbook for graduate program course requirements.

Geology Graduate Courses by Academic Year (pdfs)

2021-2022 | 2020-2021 | 2019-2020 | 2018-2019 | 2017-2018 

Academic Year 2022-2023

Last updated July 2023 | PDF of graduate classes 2022-2023

  • Fall 2022 | Graduate
  • GEL 214: Active Tectonics | Oskin

    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Active Tectonics is lecture, project, and problem-set based course on tectonic processes taught through the lens of active systems. The course examines the interplay of tectonics and surface processes through observations, quantitative analytical, and numerical modeling techniques. Problem sets emphasize quantitative problem solving in structural geology, tectonics, geomorphology and Quaternary geochronology. We will also work on one or more group projects that vary from year to year, ideally with a fieldwork component.

    GEL 251: Isotopes in Cosmochemistry and Geochemistry | Mukhopadhyay
    Graduate course breadth area: #2
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 262: Paleobiology Seminar | Motani
    Graduate course breadth area: #4
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Rudolph
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 294: Structure & Tectonics forum | Roeske
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    This on-going discussion group meets once/week to discuss a paper selected by participants in the group. The theme of the articles varies each quarter; the seminar's goal is to emphasize breadth and we read and discuss a range of articles that cover the diverse interests of members of the group. As an example, we have recently read articles on subduction zone processes, ranging from UHP metamorphism and exhumation, to response of the upper plate to degree of coupling in the subduction zone. If schedules allow, we plan a multi-day field trip to examine rocks that may show some of the processes of interest to the group and focus the reading around the field trip.

    GEL 298: Planetary Geology and Geophysics | Stewart
    CRN: 35263
    Graduate course breadth area: #3

    Principles of planetary science. Planetary dynamics, including orbital mechanics, tidal interactions and ring dynamics. Theory of planetary interiors, gravitational fields, rotational dynamics. Physics of planetary atmospheres. Geological processes, landforms and their modification. Methods of analysis from Earth-based observations and spacecraft. This course meets at the same time as GEL 163 and includes additional homework assignments.

    GEL 390: Methods of Teaching Geology | Billen
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

  • Winter 2023 | Graduate

  • GEL 230: Geomorphology & River Management | Pinter
    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    The course – widely known as “Ecogeo” – is a multidisciplinary study of the ecology, geomorphology, and management of rivers, floodplains, and watersheds. Each year, a single river is selected, and the course focuses on an intensive study of that system. The course involves classroom instruction during the academic quarter, research and research papers focused on the study river, culminating with a 7-10+ day rafting trip during which students collect and analyze field data and/or synthesize the multidisciplinary science, management, and policy of the river.

    GEL 240: Geophysics of the Earth | Rudolph
    Graduate course breadth area: #3
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 281: Instrumental Techniques | Yin
    Graduate course breadth area: 2
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Mukhopadhyay
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: Planetary Impact Processes | Stewart
    CRN: 26804
    Graduate course breadth area: 3

    Planetary impact processes, including impact cratering mechanics and thermodynamics, catastrophic disruption, including introduction to hydrocodes, equations of state and state-of-the art in experimental capabilities.

  • Spring 2023 | Graduate

  • GEL 205: Advance Field Stratigraphy | Sumner
    Graduate course breadth area: #1 
    Topic: Tracing geobiological influences on the rock record of eastern California. This course will include ~7 days of fieldwork in areas between Mono Lake and the Death Valley area over spring break followed by 1 hour weekly meetings during spring quarter. Fieldwork will focus on identifying and interpreting interactions between life and sedimentary systems in rocks ranging in age from Neoproterozoic to Cambrian with a few examples of recent deposits. Students will collect stratigraphic data and samples during fieldwork that will be analyzed during spring quarter for student-defined projects. Some reading will be assigned prior to fieldwork, and students participating in fieldwork are required to enroll in the spring quarter course.
     

    GEL 253: Petrology seminar | Cooper
    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: Aqueous Geochemistry (3 units) | Atekwana
    CRN: 45597
    Tues/Thurs 1:10-2:40 in EPS 1119
    Graduate course breadth area: #2

    The goal of this course is to discuss factors that affects the chemical composition of natural waters: (1) understanding of the main classes of reactions that control the behavior of major chemical species in natural waters and (2) learn to use some geochemical “tools” (including sampling and analyses equipment, software, etc.) to study major reactions in natural waters i.e., perform simple geochemical modeling. Students will acquire a basic understanding of the main classes of reactions, knowledge of the factors regulating chemical processes in natural waters, as well as the ways in which these processes influence the behavior of the major chemical species. Knowledge of a few basic pieces of information concerning the system of interest (e.g., temperature, pH, redox conditions, soil/sediment/rock composition, etc.) should allow students to readily apply such understanding to new situations to make reasonable predictions about the chemical composition of natural waters, and about the transport and fate of chemical species in natural waters.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Pinter
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 294: Structure & Tectonics forum | Roeske
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    This on-going discussion group meets once/week to discuss a paper selected by participants in the group. The theme of the articles varies each quarter; the seminar's goal is to emphasize breadth and we read and discuss a range of articles that cover the diverse interests of members of the group. As an example, we have recently read articles on subduction zone processes, ranging from UHP metamorphism and exhumation, to response of the upper plate to degree of coupling in the subduction zone. If schedules allow, we plan a multi-day field trip to examine rocks that may show some of the processes of interest to the group and focus the reading around the field trip.

Academic Year 2023-2024

Last updated February 2024 | PDF of graduate classes 2023-2024

  • Fall 2023 | Graduate
  • GEL 219: Fracture & Flow of Rocks | Billen
    Graduate course breadth area: #3
    This course is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in brittle, ductile, and viscous behavior of rocks. Emphasis is on brittle/ductile behavior of the lithosphere, including the rheologies used to model earthquake rupture and mechanisms of viscous deformation. For each topic, I will present the experimental data, the equations used to describe the behavior and a discussion of the microscopic origin of the observed behavior. Weekly homework assignments emphasize foundational concepts different types of deformation. Targeted paper discussions will occur at key junctures in the course to help synthesize the topics and learn how to critically read papers establishing or applying rheological concepts. Each student will also complete a literature review-based term project on a specific type of theology of relevance to their own research.

    GEL 227: Stable Isotopes Biogeochemistry | Atekwana

    Graduate course breadth area: #2
    Stable Isotopes biogeochemistry is an important discipline within the earth sciences. The use of stable isotopes is widespread from studies that seek to understand natural variations in isotopes in geologic system to those that relate to human perturbation of the world’s ecosystems. This course is an introduction to the basic principles of stable isotope. Students will study of the production, distribution, and use of select naturally occurring stable isotopes applied to geology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and environmental change. The main objective of this course is to provide an elementary understanding of the principles and application of stable isotope in earth and environmental systems. The course will focus on commonly used light stable isotopes (e.g., H, C, N, O and S). The course will also cover other stable and radioactive isotopes as appropriate. At the end of the course, students should have a working knowledge of the principles of stable isotopes and be able to apply their use in geologic studies and in their research.

    GEL 235: Surface Processes | Oskin
    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Motani

    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry | Griffin
    CRN: 35135
    Graduate course breadth area: #2

    Description coming soon.

    GEL 390: Methods of Teaching Geology | Billen
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

  • Winter 2024 | Graduate

  • GEL 217: Topics in Geophysics | Stewart
    Graduate course breadth area: #3
    This class focuses on developing the skill of estimation and building physical intuition by using a variety of simplifying strategies. The class will have a flipped classroom format. Students must prepare for each meeting by reading the textbook and doing the assigned problems. The class in-person meetings will focus on individual and group-based estimation activities to develop quick estimation skills. 

    GEL 230: Geomorphology & River Management | Pinter
    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Billen

    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 294: Structure & Tectonics forum
    | Roeske
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    This on-going discussion group meets once/week to discuss a paper selected by participants in the group. The theme of the articles varies each quarter; the seminar's goal is to emphasize breadth and we read and discuss a range of articles that cover the diverse interests of members of the group. As an example, we have recently read articles on subduction zone processes, ranging from UHP metamorphism and exhumation, to response of the upper plate to degree of coupling in the subduction zone. If schedules allow, we plan a multi-day field trip to examine rocks that may show some of the processes of interest to the group and focus the reading around the field trip.

    GEL 296: Advanced Problems in Tectonics |
    Cowgill
    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Topic: Anatomy of an Orogen: Geologic Evolution of the Caucasus.

    GEL 298: TBD | Mukhopadhyay
    CRN: 26781
    Graduate course breadth area: #2

    Description coming soon.

  • Spring 2024 | Graduate

  • GEL 251: Isotope Geochemistry & Cosmochemistry | Yin
    Graduate course breadth area: #2
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 290: Seminar | Billen

    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: Regional Geology of Northern California | Ratschbacher
    CRN: 43195, meets Mondays and Wednesdays in EPS 3120
    3 units

    Graduate course breadth area: #1 or #2

    This class focuses on the Regional Geology of Northern California. The class includes 3 one-day field trips (Fridays, April 12th,  May 3rd, May 24th) to the Sierra Foothills and Coast Ranges to make field observations and combine these with published geochemical and geochronological data to investigate petrologic and tectonic questions.

    GEL 298: Fossil Collections and Display | Gold

    CRN: 43203
    Graduate course breadth area: #4

    This class focuses on the collection, curation, and exhibition of fossil material. Class will include conversations with and readings from a range of museum curators, paleontologists, and collection managers. Students will utilize the UC Davis paleontological collection to explore management tools and design public displays.

Academic Year 2024-2025

Last updated November 2023 | PDF of graduate classes 2024-2025

  • Fall 2024 | Graduate
  • GEL 232: Oceans and Climate Change | Palmer
    Graduate course breadth area: #4

    This graduate course looks at the connections between oceans, earth, and climate systems. Topics vary by year and are selected by students and faculty. Recent topics have included reconstruction of past climates of western North America through the Holocene, and the history and future of oxygen minimum zones in the ocean. Class is structured to feature peer reviewed literature as well as including elements of public science communication on oceans and climate change.

    GEL 298: TBD | Atekwana
    CRN: TBD
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD

    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: TBD | Griffin
    CRN: TBD
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD

    Description coming soon.

    GEL 390: Methods of Teaching Geology | Billen
    Taught as GEL 298 for 1 unit. CRN: TBD
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.

    Description coming soon.
  • Winter 2025 | Graduate
  • GEL 214: Active Tectonics | Oskin

    Graduate course breadth area: #1
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 281: Instrumental Techniques | Yin
    Graduate course breadth area: 2
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 294: Structure and Tectonics forum | Roeske
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 390: Methods of Teaching Geology | Billen
    Taught as GEL 298 for 1 unit. CRN: TBD
    Does not count as a breadth or general course for graduate degree requirements.

    Description coming soon.
  • Spring 2025 | Graduate
  • GEL 230: Geomorphology | Pinter
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD
    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: TBD | Sumner
    CRN: TBD
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD

    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: TBD | Ratschbacher

    CRN: TBD
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD

    Description coming soon.

    GEL 298: TBD | Sun

    CRN: TBD
    Graduate course breadth area: #TBD

    Description coming soon.

GEL Course Evaluations

See the course evaluation questions that will be asked of each Geology course at the end of the quarter