Teaching Geodesy

Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring the Earth's size, shape, orientation, mass distribution and how these vary with time.

Over the last century, geodesy has developed from fairly simple surveying technologies, which helped to accurately determine positions on Earth, to a complex toolbox of methods now available to scientific researchers and students. Methods in the geodesy toolbox include GPS/GNSS, lidar, gravity, strainmeters, altimetry, InSAR, and structure from motion (SfM). In recent decades, geodetic applications have rapidly expanded from measuring plate motions and monitoring earthquake hazards to include research on volcanic, landslide, and weather hazards; climate change; and water resources. 
Learn more from these videos: Brief History of Geodesy and 9 Impacts of Geodesy.

Resources in this collection span undergraduate and secondary level and have resources for both classroom and field courses.

Jump down to: Course Design & Pedagogy | Resource Collections | Workshops & Events | Get Involved

Designing an Effective Geodesy Course

1. Set goals

Learn more about setting effective course goals in the Course Design Tutorial. You can also explore course goals from others' courses using the syllabi available in the course collection.

2. Consider assessment options

Aligning your assessment strategies with the goals of your course is critical. You can learn more about assessing student learning both as part of the Course Design Tutorial and through our module on Assessing Student Learning.

3. Select pedagogies and teaching activities

The resource collections below are organized to provide a rich set of materials to draw from in constructing the specific set of learning experiences you want for your students. You may also want to explore specific pedagogies to incorporate into your classroom such as teaching with data or teaching with Google Earth. Learn more about teaching methods from the On the Cutting Edge teaching methods module.

Resource Collections

Once you've identified the core learning goals for your course, you can use them to focus your search for relevant materials in our resource collections. The resource collections listed below reflect the contributions of faculty members from across the country.

  • Course descriptions contributed by faculty for courses involving geodesy, including course syllabi and goals.
  • Teaching activities involving geodesy, contributed by faculty members and several geodesy-oriented curriculum projects.
  • Other educational resources, including websites, hands-on demonstrations, and papers related to geodesy.
  • Visualizations including animations, images, diagrams, and short movies.

Workshops and Events

Get Involved


The Teaching Geodesy site was developed and is being maintained in conjunction with UNAVCO with funding provided by grants from the National Science Foundation.


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