Sarah Titus, Geology
Date of Report: 5/28/12
Equipment Purchased with the Award
The funds went towards purchasing a gravimeter.
Impact of Equipment on Teaching
Having real geophysical equipment to teach with in a Geophysics course is invaluable: it gave students the opportunity to use real scientific equipment in lab. On mid-term evaluations, they reported that the lab opportunities were very important for their learning in the course.
Gravity data are typically collected in the geosciences in order to visualize what is beneath the subsurface of the Earth. The modeling also requires visualization skills, as students view maps or cross-section representations of the data. In short, this instrument promotes the development of visualization skills at multiple points in the curriculum.
Impact of Equipment on Research
The instrument has not yet had an effect on our research, since we just purchased it this spring. However, I anticipate that students may be able use the gravimeter for comps projects in the geology department. We are also refining teaching tools (in Mathematica) for visualizing gravity data.