Earth and Planetary Sciences Event Calendar

Unless noted, all listed events are open to the general public.

Wednesday Seminar in Geology: GEL 190/290
Seminars are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM. Additional optional seminars that may be included as part of the Geology 190 series may be scheduled at other times.

Friday Brown Bag"A Geology tradition since the Phanerozoic!"
Fridays at noon. Students and faculty give informal lectures on research, travel, or other interests. Bring a brown bag lunch.

Campus map: Earth & Physical Sciences Building | Roessler Hall

submit an event to the department calendar (restricted access)


Wednesday, January 16th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

Glacial diamictites and the evolving composition of the upper continental crust  -- by Roberta Rudnick, UC Santa Barbara


Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

Mass extinctions, radiations, and oxygen: Exploring life’s ups and downs with novel paleoredox proxies  -- by Stephen Romaniello

Major biological events in Earth's history- the origin of multicellular animals, the evolution of land plants, and major mass extinctions - are commonly associated with changes in the oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Until recently, however, few geochemical tools provided the continuous, high-fidelity records of marine redox conditions needed to answer important questions about the precise timing and causality of these events. Was O2 the proximate driver of animal evolution, or merely a prerequisite? Is anoxia a direct cause of marine mass extinctions, or simply a symptom of other rapid climatological and biogeochemical changes in the Earth System? In this talk, I will present the results of recent work developing and applying the uranium isotope paleoredox proxy to carbonate sediments spanning the last 2 billion years. These records offer new windows into events around the Cambrian explosion and four of the Big Five mass extinctions and support a strong link between ocean redox conditions and animal evolution. I will also demonstrate how the ongoing application this proxy is helping to fill in the broad temporal gaps between intensely studied episodic events, revealing long term secular changes in ocean oxygenation and providing essential environmental context for interpreting the significance of sudden events over the Earth history.


Friday, January 25th, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

What do graduate students actually do?  -- AWG: grad student talks for undergrads

All undergraduates are encouraged to bring your lunch and come find out what graduate students actually do. Grad students will share their experiences in the lab and in the field, the facilities we have at UCD, and answer any questions you might have about finding a lab to get involved in, or being a grad student! Hosted by AWG.


Wednesday, January 30th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Samantha Hopkins, University of Oregon


 Thursday, January 31st, 2019, CIG Webinar
2:00 PM, online

Introduction to Quagmire - a parallel python module for numerical landscape modeling  -- by Louis Moresi


Wednesday, February 6th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Lydia Staisch, USGS Menlo Park


Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Sarah Slotznick


Friday, February 15th, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

TBA  -- by Curtis Williams, UC Davis


Saturday, February 16th, 2019
9:00am to 4:00pm

2019 Biodiversity Museum Day 


Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Keith Putirka, CSU Fresno


Friday, February 22nd, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

AWG: grad students talks for undergrads


Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by McKenzie Day, UCLA


Friday, March 1st, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

What do graduate students actually do? -- AWG: grad students talks for undergrads

All undergraduates are encouraged to bring your lunch and come find out what graduate students actually do. Grad students will share their experiences in the lab and in the field, the facilities we have at UCD, and answer any questions you might have about finding a lab to get involved in, or being a grad student! Hosted by AWG.


Wednesday, March 6th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar
4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Mark Ghiorso


Friday, March 8th, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

The Quicksilver Curse in Sierra Silicon Valleys: The Modern State of Hydraulic Mining Sediment  -- by Dr. Allan James, University of South Carolina, Geography Department

Up until the new millennium, river engineers often assumed that most hydraulic mining sediment (HMS) was gone from the Sierra Nevada as interpreted from G. K. Gilbert’s (1917) sediment wave model. This overestimated longitudinal sediment connectivity and sediment delivery ratios (SDR) to the Sacramento Valley and underestimated the residence time of HMS in the mountains. Recognition that HMS may have high mercury concentrations, has resulted in renewed interest in the location and stability of HMS deposits. Gilbert’s classic distributed sediment budget provides a framework for storage estimates at the scale of major basins (North, Middle, South Yuba, Bear, etc.), but modern computations are needed to validate these estimates and break them into finer, catchment-scale sediment budgets with site-specific volumes.

The current knowledge of HMS volumes remaining in the mountains is outlined and geomorphometric methods for developing distributed sediment budgets from high-resolution LiDAR data are described. A pilot study is reviewed that used these methods to develop an HMS budget for upper Steephollow Creek in the Bear River basin that includes HMS production from mine pit topographies and valley bottom storage at two time periods. Steephollow Creek is an ideal location for this method because it has highly planar valley side slopes that permit extrapolation of contour lines below the valley bottoms that are now filled with HMS. The resulting budgets indicate that 23.5 x 106 m3 of HMS in the study area, that 7.15 x 106 m3 was stored at the time of maximum aggradation (ca. 1884), and that approximately half of the storage (3.57 x 106 m3) was eroded by 2014 when the LiDAR data were acquired. Proportions of HMS stored in both 1884 and 2014 are more than Gilbert’s estimates for the entire Sierra, but lower than values associated with much higher SDR commonly observed in North America. The increase in SDR between 1884 and 2014 demonstrates the dynamic nature of SDRs and the need to specify time durations in longitudinal sediment connectivity studies.


Wednesday, March 13th, 2019, Wednesday Seminar

4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

TBA  -- by Elise Wilkes, California Institute of Technology


Friday, March 15th, 2019, Friday Brown Bag
12:10 PM, 1316 Earth and Physical Sciences

What do graduate students actually do? -- AWG: grad students talks for undergrads

All undergraduates are encouraged to bring your lunch and come find out what graduate students actually do. Grad students will share their experiences in the lab and in the field, the facilities we have at UCD, and answer any questions you might have about finding a lab to get involved in, or being a grad student! Hosted by AWG.