Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Introduction to Global Geophysics

Introduction to Global Geophysics

Steve Dickman
,
dickman@binghamton.edu

Binghamton University
a
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs
.

Summary

Application of physical concepts to understanding the solid earth. Topics: origin of Earth; gravitational and geomagnetic fields and effects; earthquakes and seismic waves; composition and structure of Earth's interior; radioactivity and its geothermal consequences; fluid flow; principles of geophysical exploration for natural resources. Applications to moon, sun and planets as appropriate. Three lectures, one two-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: one semester of physics, calculus and geology; or consent of instructor.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Geophysics
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Geophysics
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper-division elective for the geology major, cross-listed on the graduate level. A semester each of geology, calculus, and physics are prerequisite. Its format is 3 hours of lecture and a 2-hour lab each week. This course is open to all science and engineering majors (and others by petition), but is intended primarily for geology seniors and graduate students.

Course Goals:

  • Students should be able to collect, reduce, and interpret gravity data.
  • Students should be able to collect, reduce, and interpret seismic refraction data.
  • Students should be able to apply dimensional analysis (simple scaling techniques) to obtain order-of-magnitude solutions to basic differential equations.
  • Most important, students should be able to draw on a geophysical knowledge base to understand the natural world around them.


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

The primary activity of my course is the lecture. Students are expected to assimilate and master a large amount of geophysical material. Key homework assignments and lab activities provide focus for the students' effort; those plus the exams allow me to assess the students' success.

Skills Goals

see above


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

see above

Attitudinal Goals

  • developing a geophysical outlook on the world around them
  • seeing the relevance of math and physics to their own scientific endeavors, and seeing the value of using math and physics in those endeavors
  • seeing the importance of errors in modifying conclusions (in field work)


How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Throughout the course, I try to provide examples illustrating the relevance of geophysics, math, and physics to other sciences and to the world around them.

I require that lab reports include an error assessment.

Assessment

see above

Syllabus:

Syllabus (Microsoft Word 46kB Jun20 07)

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