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Courses in Geology (GEL)

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

Fall Quarter 2017, Academic Year 2017-2018

Course Syllabus Title
GEL 1 The Earth
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. 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. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 50. Only 2 units of credit to students who have completed course 2. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL, WE.
GEL 4 Evolution: Science and World View
Lecture—2 hours; discussion—1 hour. Introduction to biological evolution. Emphasis on historical development, major lines of evidence and causes of evolution; relationships between evolution and Earth history; the impact of evolutionary thought on other disciplines. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL, WE.
GEL 12 Evolution and Paleobiology of Dinosaurs
Lecture—2 hours. Introduction to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, using dinosaurs as case studies. GE credit: SciEng | SE.
GEL 16 The Oceans
Lecture—3 hours. 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. Not open for credit to students who have taken course 116. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 17 Earthquakes and Other Earth Hazards
Lecture—2 hours. 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. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 25 Geology of National Parks
Lecture—2 hours. Appreciation of the geologic framework underlying the inherent beauty of U.S. National Parks. Each park provides a visual focus for understanding a variety of geologic processes such as mountain building, volcanism, stream erosion, and glacial action. GE credit: SE, SL, VL.
GEL 28 Astrobiology
Lecture—3 hours. 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. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 50 Physical Geology
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: high school physics and chemistry. The Earth, its materials, its internal and external processes, its development through time by sea-floor spreading and global plate tectonics. Students with credit for course 1 or the equivalent may receive only 2 units for course 50. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 50L Physical Geology Laboratory
Laboratory—6 hours. Prerequisite: course 50 (preferably taken concurrently). Introduction to classification and recognition of minerals and rocks and to interpretation of topographic and geologic maps and aerial photographs. Students with credit for course 1L or the equivalent may receive only 1 unit for course 50L. GE credit: SciEng | SE.
GEL 60 Earth Materials: Introduction
Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: Chemistry 2A; Mathematics 16A or 21A; course 1 or 50, 50L. Physical and chemical properties of rocks, minerals and other earth materials; structure and composition of rock-forming minerals; formation of minerals by precipitation from silicate liquids and aqueous fluids and by solid state transformations. GE credit: SE.
GEL 62 Optical Mineralogy
Lecture—1 hour; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 60 (may be taken concurrently); high school physics is strongly recommended. Optical properties of inorganic crystals; techniques of mineral identification using the polarizing microscope; strategies for studying rocks in thin section. GE credit: SE, VL.
GEL 81 Learning in Science and Mathematics
Lecture/discussion—2 hours; field work—2 hours. Limited enrollment. 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. (Same course as Education 81.) (P/NP grading only.) GE credit: SS, VL, WE.
GEL 107 Earth History: Paleobiology
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: courses 3-3L or Biological Sciences 1B. The evolution and ecological structure of the biosphere from the origin of life to the present. GE credit: SE.
GEL 107L Earth History: Paleobiology Laboratory
Laboratory—6 hours. Prerequisite: courses 3-3L or Biological Sciences 1B; course 107 (may be taken concurrently). Exercises in determining the ecological functions and evolution of individuals, populations, and communities of fossil organisms in field and laboratory. GE credit: SE.
GEL 115 Earth Science, History, and People
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Prerequisite: upper division standing; course 1. Study of interplay between the Earth and its human inhabitants through history, including consideration of acute events such as earthquakes and eruptions as well as the geology of resources, topography, and water. GE credit: SciEng or SocSci, Wrt | OL, SE, WE.
GEL 131 Risk: Natural Hazards and Related Phenomena
Lecture—3 hours. Risk, prediction, prevention and response for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods, storms, fires, impacts, global warming. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 140 Introduction to Process Geomorphology
Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1 or 50 or equivalent; Mathematics 16B or 21B, or equivalent; or consent of instructor. Quantitative description and interpretation of landscapes with emphasis on the relationships between physical processes, mass conservation, and landform evolution. Topics covered include physical and chemical weathering, hillslopes, debris flows, fluvial systems, alluvial fans, pedogenesis, eolian transport, glaciation and Quaternary geochronology.
GEL 181 Teaching in Science and Mathematics
Lecture/discussion—2 hours; field work—2 hours. Prerequisite: major in mathematics, science, or engineering; or completion of a one-year sequence of science or calculus and consent of the instructor. Class size limited to 40 students per section. 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. (Same course as Education 181.) (P/NP grading only.) GE credit: SS, WE.
GEL 183 Teaching High School Science and Mathematics
Lecture/discussion—2 hours; field work—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 81/Education 81 or course 181/Education 181 or consent of instructor. 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. Limited enrollment. (Same course as Education 183.) GE credit: OL, SS, WE.
GEL 190 Seminar In Geology
Discussion—1 hour; seminar—1 hour; Presentation and discussion of current topics in geology by visiting lecturers, staff, and students. Written abstracts. May be repeated for credit. (P/NP grading only.) GE credit: SE.
GEL 261 Paleontology Seminar: Body Size in Evolution and Ecology

Geology Class Research Projects