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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.

Winter 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.
History of Life
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1 recommended. The history of life during the three and one-half 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. GE credit: SciEng | SE.
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: 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. 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 30 Fractals, Chaos and Complexity
Lecture/discussion—3 hours. Prerequisite: Mathematics 16A or 21A. 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. (Same course as Physics 30.) GE credit: SciEng | QL, SE.
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: SE.
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 101
GEL 101L
Earth Dynamics II: Convergent and Collisional Processes
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: courses 50-50L, 100, Mathematics 21B or 16B (may be taken concurrently), Physics 5A or 7A or 9A (may be taken concurrently); or consent of instructor. Geophysical and structural signatures of convergent tectonics, subduction zones, plate collisions and mountain belts. Topics include ductile deformation, folds, seismic Benioff zones, gravity and isostacy. Examples of collisions and resulting mountain belts. Examples drawn from western North America. GE credit: SciEng, Wrt | QL, SE.
GEL 105 Earth Materials: Igneous Rocks
Lecture—2 hours; laboratory—6 hours. Prerequisite: courses 60, 62; Mathematics 16A or 21A; Chemistry 2B (may be taken concurrently). Origin and occurrence of igneous rocks. 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.
GEL 108
Earth History: Paleoclimates
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1 or 50 or 116N or Environmental Science and Policy 116N; Chemistry 2A; consent of instructor. 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. GE credit: SciEng, Wrt | SE, SL, WE.
GEL 116N Oceanography
Lecture—2 hours; laboratory—3 hours; field work. Prerequisite: course 1 or 2 or 16 or 50. 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. (Same course as Environmental Science & Policy 116N.) Offered in alternate years. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 130 Non-Renewable Natural Resources
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1 or 50. Origin, occurrence, and distribution of non-renewable resources, including metallic, nonmetallic, and energy-producing materials. Problems of discovery, production, and management. Estimations and limitations of reserves, and their sociological, political, and economic effects. Offered in alternate years. GE credit: SciEng | SE, SL.
GEL 146 Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: Chemistry 2C, Physics 7C, and Mathematics 16C. 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 in alternate years. GE credit: SciEng | QL, SE.
GEL 150B

Geological Oceanography
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: course 50 or 116. 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. (Same course as Environmental Science and Policy 150B.) GE credit: SciEng | SE.

GEL 156

Hydrogeology and Contaminant Transport
Lecture—3 hours; laboratory—3 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: Hydrologic Science 145, Civil and Environmental Engineering 144 or the equivalent. Physical and chemical processes affecting groundwater flow and contaminant transport, with emphasis on realistic hydrogeologic systems. Groundwater geology and chemistry. Fundamentals of groundwater flow and transport analysis. Laboratory includes field pumping test and work with physical and computer models. (Same course as Hydrologic Science 146.) GE credit: SciEng | SE.

GEL 163

Planetary Geology and Geophysics
Lecture—3 hours. Prerequisite: Mathematics 21C, Physics 7C or 9C, and course 50 or 36 or Astronomy 10, or consent of instructor. 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. 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