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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.

Spring Quarter 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 2 The Blue Planet: Introduction to Earth Science
Lecture—3 hours. Study of the solid and fluid earth and its place in the solar system. Holistic examination of how the solid earth interacts with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and extraterrestrial environment. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 50. Only 2 units of credit to students who have completed course 1. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
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. The impact of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and floods on Man, his structures and his environment. Discussion of the causes, effects, and solution of geologic problems in rural and urban settings. GE credit: SE, SL.
GEL 18 Energy and the Environment
Lecture—3 hours. Conventional and alternative energy resources and their environmental impacts. Basic principles, historical development, current advantages and disadvantages, future prospects. Oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, geothermal, water, tidal, solar, hydrogen, and other sources of energy for the 21st century. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL, WE.
GEL 36 The Solar System
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. 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 113-113G.) GE credit: SciEng, Wrt | SE, VL, WE.
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 81 Learning in Science and Mathematics
Lecture/discussion—2 hours; field work—2 hours. 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. Limited enrollment. (Same course as Education 81.) (P/NP grading only.) GE credit: SS, VL, WE.
GEL 103 Field Geology
Fieldwork and laboratory—9 hours; 7-8 days on weekends during quarter. Prerequisite: course 101L or consent of instructor. Field mapping projects and writing geological reports. Weekly classroom meetings devoted to preparation of maps, cross sections, stratigraphic sections, rock descriptions, and reports. GE credit: SE, VL, WE.
GEL 106 Earth Materials: Metamorphic Rocks
Lecture—2 hours; laboratory—6 hours. Prerequisite: course 105, Chemistry 2B, Mathematics 16A or 21A. Physical and chemical properties of metamorphic rocks; interpretation of metamorphic environments. Laboratory exercises emphasize the study of these rocks in hand specimen and thin section. GE credit: SciEng, Wrt | SE, WE.
GEL 107
GEL 107L
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.
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 109
GEL 109L
Earth History: Sediments and Strata
Lecture—2 hours. Prerequisite: courses 50, 50L. Principles of stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis. Evaluation of historical and modern global changes in sedimentation within terrestrial and marine environments. Examination of the plate tectonic, climatic and oceanographic factors controlling the distribution and exploitation of economic fluids within sedimentary rocks. GE credit: SciEng | SE.
Laboratory—6 hours. Prerequisite: course 109 concurrently. 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 course 109. Includes four one-day field trips. GE credit: SciEng, Wrt | SE, WE.
GEL 120 Origins: From the Big Bang to Today
Lecture—3 hours. Limited enrollment. 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. GE credit: SciEng | SE.

GEL 136 Ecogeomorphology of Rivers and Streams
Lecture—1 hour; discussion/laboratory—2 hours; fieldwork; term paper or discussion. Prerequisite: upper division or graduate standing in any physical science, biological science, or engineering, and consent of instructor. Restricted to advanced students in the physical sciences, biological sciences, or engineering. Integrative multidisciplinary field analysis of streams. Class project examines hydrology, geomorphology, water quality and aquatic and riparian ecology of degraded and pristine stream systems. Includes cooperative two-week field survey in remote wilderness settings with students from diverse scientific backgrounds. GE credit: SciEng
 | SE, WE.
GEL 144 Historical Ecology
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: upper division course in environmental science or ecology, or an introductory course in paleobiology. 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. GE credit: SciEng | SE, WE.
GEL 150A Physical and Chemical Oceanography
Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour. Prerequisite: course 116N or Environmental Science and Policy 116N; Physics 9B, Mathematics 21D, Chemistry 2C; consent of instructor. Physical and chemical properties of seawater, fluid dynamics, air-sea interaction, currents, waves, tides, mixing, major oceanic geochemical cycles. (Same course as Environmental Science and Policy 150A.) GE credit: SciEng | QL, SE.
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.

Geology Class Research Projects