Our colleague and dear friend, Senior Lecturer Emeritus Richard Cowen, passed away on January 8, 2020. A gentleman and a scholar, Richard's teaching excellence inspired thousands of students, as well as UC Davis Earth and Planetary Sciences faculty and staff. Messages of sympathy and memories of Richard may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to have your message included on our Memories of Richard page, please let us know.
Cathy Busby is the recipient of the 2020 GSA Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, & Volcanology (MGPV) Division Distinguished Geological Career Award. The award goes to an individual who, throughout his/her career, has made distinguished contributions in one or more of the following fields of research: mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, volcanology, with emphasis on multidisciplinary, field-based contributions. This award emphasizes a geologic and multidisciplinary approach. Geological work is by nature generalistic and has an important field component, with Earth as the natural laboratory.
Continents of the Underworld Come Into Focus | Curtis Williams
from Quanta Magazine: "Decades ago, scientists first harnessed the echoes of earthquakes to make a map of Earth’s deep interior. They didn’t just find the onion layers you might remember from a grade school textbook — core and mantle covered by a cracked crust. Instead, they saw the vague outlines of two vast anomalies, unknown forms staring back from the abyss. Over the years, better maps kept showing the same bloblike features.
"In July, a team led by Curtis Williams, published simulations that traced the plumes under hot spots back down through the flowing mantle. They found that these plumes reach all the way to the blobs, and bring unique chemistry up with them. 'Whatever part of the mantle [the plumes are] coming from,' said Williams, 'it’s really old.'"
From the Atlantic: "Giant, Mysterious Blobs Are Lurking at the Edge of Earth’s Core"
From EOS: "Ground shaking in Southern California, including a magnitude 7.1 temblor, triggered a massive mobilization effort to collect seismological, geological, and geodetic data." Mike Oskin is part of a team that, starting in late July, flew a small aircraft to collect lidar observations.
The Louise H. Kellogg Chair in Geophysics
Professor Louise Kellogg gave copious time, energy, and support to her department, the campus, and the global scientific community during her three decades in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Professor Kellogg, who passed away in April, has been honored through a $2 million gift from her husband Douglas S. Neuhauser to establish the Louise H. Kellogg Chair in Geophysics. “Louise built bridges among communities with her multidisciplinary scientific vision, by reaching out and engaging the broader scientific community and her dedication to equity,” Neuhauser stated.
From UC Davis News: Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is a strange place. Just 300 miles across, the moon is thought to have an outer shell of ice covering a global ocean 20 miles deep, encasing a rocky core. Slashed across Enceladus’ south pole are four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These fissures aren’t quite like anything else in the solar system. “We want to know why the eruptions are located at the south pole as opposed to some other place on Enceladus, how these eruptions can be sustained over long periods of time and finally why these eruptions are emanating from regularly spaced cracks,” said Max Rudolph
From UC Davis News: "Ten faculty members have been elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They are among 443 new fellows elected this year, honored for their efforts to advance science or its applications." Sarah Stewart was elected for her distinguished work advancing the theory of how celestial collisions give rise to planets and moons, which provides a comprehensive basis for understanding planet formation.
Prized Writing, published by the University Writing Program, or UWP, in the College of Letters and Science, showcases nonfiction works by undergraduates in disciplines all across campus. James "Huck" Rees, who graduated in 2018 with a degree in geology, is featured in Prized Writing (2019-2020).
I study mostly volcanic rocks. In order to understand how and why volcanoes erupt, we need to look both below the surface and back in time - my research focuses on reconstructing the processes that lead to volcanic eruptions.i am a geochemist.