Department News: Academic Year 2010-2011

  • "Geologist advises on Mars landing site": On Friday, June 22, the landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory mission was announced at 10 am Eastern Daylight Time, 7 am Pacific Daylight Time. Dawn Sumner participated in the conference which was broadcast on http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. For more information visit: Mars Science Laboratory

  • "Study: Climate Change Muscling in on Mussels" - details of a recent paper Tessa Hill and Ann Russell are co-authors on.

  • "Students win national geothermal energy competition": The UC Davis Geology Geothermal Team wins the National Geothermal Student Competition (NGSC), a first-of-its kind intercollegiate competition that challenges students to advance their understanding of geothermal energy's potential as a significant contributor to the nation's energy portfolio in the coming decades.

  • Lael Vetter was recently selected by the Paleoceanography & Paleoclimatology Committee of the American Geophysical Union, as a recipient of an Outstanding Student Paper Award for her presentation "Intrashell isotopic and trace element variation at the micron-scale in cultured planktic foraminifers" at the 2010 Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

  • "Ocean acidification: Where will all the seashells go?" A Bay Area National Park Services video featuring Ann Russell and Andrew Dickson's research on the effects of ocean acidification on oyster larvae and their development into the juvenile phase.

  • Magali Billen is a 2010-11 Chancellor's Fellow. Recipients receive this honor for having compiled outstanding records of achievement early in their careers.

  • "Needed: Floodways to reduce risk" - Sacramento Bee article. Jeff Mount and Jay Lund discuss changes needed to reduce the risk of flooding in the California Central Valley.

  • Geology graduate student Sarah White receives the Dean’s Prize for Best Oral Presentation, Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the Chancellor’s Prize for Best Oral Presentation at the Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Symposium for her talk "Abrupt climate shifts over the past million years."

  • "A Look In The Eye Reveals Killer Habits Of Dinosaurs" - Ryosuke Motani and his former grad student Lars Schmitz's research. A round up of coverage is available on the egghead blog.

  • "Antarctic lake hides bizarre ecosystem" Dawn Sumner's research in Antarctica.

  • Isabel Montañez is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

  • "Inside the Classroom: Geology 198/298" What's it like to be a student at the College of Letters and Science? This series is written by current students, giving you a front-row seat at a typical day in an undergraduate or graduate class.

  • Sandy Carlson has been elected the 2010 Paleontological Society President-Elect. She will serve in that capacity for two years, then serve as President for two years, and then as Past-President for two more years. 

  • John Dewey has been elected to the Australian Academy of Science. He is also receiving a DSc. Hon. Caus. from the University of Rennes.

  • from the California Aggie: "T. rex ate left-overs, not fresh meals". Former Geology grad student Mark Goodwin and Jack Horner reveals new evidence about T. rex. Faculty emeritus Richard Cowen comments on their findings.

  • featured in the Spring 2011 edition of College Currents, the College of Letters and Science Magazine: Ryosuke Motani and grad student Neil Kelley; Howie SperoMagali Billen and former grad student Margarete Jadamec, Oliver Kreylos,and Isabel Montañez.

  • from Capital Public Radio: "Clues to Climate Change." Rocks and sediments that are millions of years old could hold clues to how the Earth's climate could respond in the future in an environment with high levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Isabel Montañez discusses the National Research Council's recent report.

  • UCD Graduate students Joshua Garber and Amy Williams were awarded Career Development Awards at the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference last week. Only 8-10 students received this honor nationwide. Both were recognized at the Plenary Session at LPSC in March. 

  • from UC Davis: "Tokyo at risk from massive aftershock, expert says." Tokyo may be at serious risk from a massive aftershock and associated tsunami as a result of the devastating March 11 earthquake near Sendai, Japan, according to UC Davis seismologist John Rundle.

  • UCD Geologists provide insight on the March 11, 2011, earthquake in Japan; viewing 3D Imagery of Japan earthquake in the KeckCAVES.

  • from the Washington Post:"Report: Peer into the 'deep past' to divine future warming". Isabel Montañez, who chaired the report committee, said technological advances in the past decade have rapidly improved the ability to measure past climates.

  • from the California Aggie: When drillers hit magma in Iceland, UC Davis scientists saw opportunity for novel research. Q&A with an energy expert: an interview with Rob Zierenberg

  • "Where has all the Cr gone?" has puzzled geochemists and cosmochemists over decades. Comparing high precision Cr isotope data between the Earth's mantle and the building blocks of the planet suggests light isotopes preferentially enter the core. Qingzhu Yin, his former postdoc Frederic Moynier (now Assistant Professor at Washington University in Saint Louis), and a UCLA scientist publish their findings in the February 24 edition of Science Express: "Isotopic Evidence of Cr Partitioning into Earth'€™s Core"

  • from the egghead blog: "Students take part in national hot rocks power competition." Led by Jim McClainPeter SchiffmanRob Zierenberg and Bill Glassley, the team of UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students is among 11 selected to take part in the first National Geothermal Student Competition.

  • "Iceland Volcano's Molten Rock Could Become Source of High-Grade Energy." Peter SchiffmanRob Zierenberg and former grad student Naomi Marks (LLNL) are co-authors on the paper, "Origin of a rhyolite that intruded a geothermal well while drilling at the Krafla volcano, Iceland", which was published in the March issue of Geology.

  • "Yuba rock tells story" from the Appeal Democrat. Eldridge Moores, Peter Schiffman, and Rob Zierenberg visit a new addition to the Geology rock garden.

  • A new dinosaur discovery in South America - Isabel Montañez is a coauthor on the Science paper ("Pint-Sized Predator Rattles The Dinosaur Family Tree" published January 13) describing Eodramaeus, or "dawn runner". Montañez, with Brian Currie from Miami University, Ohio and Paul Renne at UC Berkeley's Geochronology Center had previously studied the ancient soils from the area, dating layers of ash and studying how the climate changed. Read more in the egghead blog

  • Geerat Vermeij will be the speaker at "Writers on Writing". This speaker series invites local authors to speak about their personal relationships to writing as well as to discuss their latest books.Tuesday, February 15 at 7 pm in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library in Davis.

  • Jeff Mount is named "one of the most interesting people in the region" by Sacramento News and Review: The Sac 100.

  • "With Kinect controller, hackers take liberties" - New York Times article featuring Oliver Kreylos [YouTube: 3D Video Capture with Kinect]

  • "A dean and his submarine": a California Aggie article featuring Jim McClain.

  • Recently Ken Verosub organized an on-line discussion and a special session for a World Bank Conference on Understanding Risk - Innovation in Disaster Risk Assessment. Each session leader gives an Ignite Talk: a fast-paced 5 minutes presentation in which 20 slides auto advance every 15 seconds. Ken's Ignite talk: Black Swans and White Whales. Note that he received a big ovation for pronouncing the name of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull correctly and without hesitation.

  • "Dr. Verosub goes to Washington" - Ken Verosub, distinguished professor of geology at UC Davis, spent six months at the U.S. Agency for International Development and then six months at the Department of State — with both assignments comprising his one-year of service as a Jefferson Science Fellow - from UC Davis Dateline

  • "Experts puzzled over rare quake in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta" from the Sacramento Bee

  • "The dinosaurs of China" - Ryosuke Motani's two fold mission in China: to excavate fossils, and to petition local governments to conserve fossil sites

  • Dawn Sumner and her graduate student Tyler Mackey are in Antarctica doing fieldwork for the next 3 months. Read their blogs: Dawn's "Dawn in Antarctica"and Tyler's "Cyanobacterial Adventure"s.

  • "Geologists advise on Chinese fossil parkRyosuke Motani and graduate student Neil Kelley are among a group of experts advising government leaders in Luoping, China, on fossil conservation and the development of a geological park.

  • Campus Spotlight: "Virtual geology"

  • GEL 136: Ecogeomorphology is selected by Sierra Magazine as part of its 2010 "Cool Schools | Fantasy Draft"

  • Classes begin Thursday, September 23, 2010.