Higher Education

The Eel River CZO will produce a generation of students and postdocs who have worked together across the disciplines of climate science, hydrology, ecology, geobiology, geochemisty and geomorphology and who have made discoveries at the interface of these fields. 

University of California Berkeley offers degrees in multiple areas of CZ science.

Students (graduate and undergraduate) have been instrumental to the Eel River CZO. Graduate student-led research has already been initiated on research including: 1) prediction of the critical zone development, 2) dynamics of runoff and rock moisture availability to the forest canopy, 3) chemical evolution of water and gasses through the critical zone, and 4) influence of vegetation on regional climate. Meet our current and past students here.

To learn more about the graduate programs the Eel River CZO is involved in please visit departmental pages here:

Visit the Eel River CZO or learn about our research by taking a UC Berkeley course.

Below are some summaries of select courses. You can search what is being offered currently via our online schedule of classes.

Freshwater Ecology
This course will combine lectures and discussions to evaluate and synthesize literature on lake, river, wetland and estuarine ecosystems, exposing students to general concepts and current controversies in ecology and evolutionary ecology. Topics will include ecological contexts for natural selection in aquatic biota, impacts of species on ecosystems, cross-ecosystem linkages, consequences of rapid evolution for communities and ecosystems, attempts to balance ecological vs societal demands for freshwater, and factors determining watershed resilience under global change. Students will read 1-2 papers for each meeting, will lead 2 discussions on 1-2 papers during the semester, and will write (and receive feedback on) an 8 page proposal to carry out original research on a topic of their choice in aquatic ecology. Upper division undergraduates are welcome with permission of the instructors.
Stable Isotope Ecology
This course focuses on the principles of isotope physiochemistry, behavior, measurements and the application of these principles to relevant ecological patterns and processes in terrestrial, aquatic and marine systems. The first 11-12 weeks of the course will be comprised of lectures covering topics outlined below. In the laboratory section, all students will participate in a set of exercises involving the preparation of samples of choice for isotopic analyses, the used of the mass spectrometer and optical analysis systems, and the analysis of isotopic data. The few weeks of the course will be include presentations of student lab projects and /or specialized lectures focused on specific research projects that have used stable isotopes. The content and scheduling of topics is subject to modification depending on the class interest and emerging topics.
Fluvial Geomorphology
Application of fluid mechanics to sediment transport and development of river morphology. Form and process in river meanders, the pool-riffle sequence, aggradation, grade, and baselevel.
Introduction to Aquatic and Marine Geochemistry
Introduction to marine geochemistry: the global water cycle; processes governing the distribution of chemical species within the hydrosphere; ocean circulation; chemical mass balances, fluxes, and reactions in the marine environment from global to submicron scales; carbon system equilibrium chemistry and biogeochemistry of fresh and salt walter; applications of natural and anthropogenic stable and radioactive tracers; internal ocean processes.



Undergraduate course curriculum, “Introduction to Critical Zone Science,” available free online

01 Jan 2018 - A 15-week semester-long upper-level undergraduate course curriculum entitled “Introduction to Critical Zone Science” is now available free online.


Water Resources Research Special Collection: Concentration-discharge relations in the critical zone

30 Oct 2017 - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.


2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

06 Apr 2017 - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.

Now Showing: California Academy of Sciences production “Habitat Earth”

14 Jul 2015 - The Eel River CZO is featured on the Morrison Planetarium show “Habitat Earth” at the California Academy of Sciences.  The theme...

Critical Zone Profile - KEITH BOUMA-GREGSON (freshwater ecologist, PhD student)

07 Apr 2015 - PhD Student, Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley.

Critical Zone Profile - DANIELLA REMPE (hydrologist, geomorphologist, PhD student)

24 Mar 2015 - PhD Student, Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley

Critical Zone Profile - JASPER OSHUN (environmental scientist, PhD student)

17 Mar 2015 - PhD Student, Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley.

Using a CZO network to explore the architecture, dynamics and evolution of the Critical Zone

03 Nov 2014 - The US CZO National Office has organized a webinar on December 8, 2014 at 11AM - 12:30 PM ET.

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