Earth and Planetary Sciences

Lassen Is UC Davis’ Newest Natural Reserve

May 17, 2019

With a terrain covering volcanoes, steaming fumaroles and forestlands, the Lassen Field Station is the newest addition to the University of California, Davis’ Natural Reserve System. The partnership offers researchers access to a variety of park facilities such as cabins, classroom space and camping. The reserve will streamline the research permit process and open new avenues for research, teaching and public outreach.

Small Towns, Big Flood Waters

May 15, 2019
River flooding continues to be the deadliest and most costly natural disaster threatening the U.S. and the world. Research by Nicholas Pinter, the Roy J. Shlemon Professor of Applied Geosciences, and Huck Rees, undergraduate geology major, could help

Does This Photo Prove The Earth Is Flat?

April 04, 2019

Oliver Kreylos, a project scientist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, used advanced 3D computer graphics to analyze a photograph allegedly proving the Earth is flat. The photograph is a stunning long-distance shot of Mt. San Jacinto taken from Point Dume in Malibu, 122 miles (197 kilometers) away. Spoiler alert: the Earth is round. Watch and find out why.

Where Did the Moon Come From? A New Theory

March 13, 2019

The Earth and Moon are like identical twins, made up of the exact same materials — which is really strange, since no other celestial bodies we know of share this kind of chemical relationship. What's responsible for this special connection? Looking for an answer, professor Sarah Stewart discovered a new kind of astronomical object — a synestia — and a new way to solve the mystery of the Moon's origin. Watch the talk on TED.com.

Researchers Describe New Reptile Platypus From the Early Triassic

January 24, 2019
No animal alive today looks quite like a duck-billed platypus, a semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal hailing from eastern Australia. But about 250 million years ago, something very similar swam the shallow seas in what is now China, finding prey by touch with a cartilaginous bill. The newly discovered marine reptile Eretmorhipis carrolldongi from the lower Triassic period is described in the journal Scientific Reports Jan. 24. 

Exploring a Strange Underwater World

December 11, 2018
Robert Zierenberg, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has studied seafloor vents since the first ones were discovered in the eastern Pacific Ocean in 1977.

First Jellyfish Genome Reveals Ancient Beginnings of Complex Body Plan

December 03, 2018
Jellyfish undergo an amazing metamorphosis, from tiny polyps growing on the seafloor to swimming medusae with stinging tentacles. The first in-depth look at the genome of a jellyfish — the moon jelly Aurelia aurita — reveals the origins of this successful survival strategy.