Integrating geodesy technology into undergraduate field education courses

Thursday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms


Donna Charlevoix, EarthScope Consortium
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, EarthScope Consortium
Nathan Niemi, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Guoquan (Bob) Wang, University of Houston-University Park
Fieldwork is an integral part of the geosciences and there is a longstanding tradition of teaching field methods as part of the undergraduate earth sciences curriculum. As new technology changes the ways in which we scientifically examine the Earth, and as workforce development demands evolve, there is growing interest in introducing these new technologies into field education curricula. Geodetic technologies common to modern research and industry studies include static and real time kinematic (RTK) GPS surveying; terrestrial and airborne laser scanning (TLS, ALS); satellite and terrestrial-based interfermoetric radar; and photogrammetry (e.g. Structure from Motion [SfM]). UNAVCO, the National Science Foundation's geodetic facility, has over 30 years experience providing such technologies in support of scientific advancement. Educators have also begun to introduce these technologies, and the datasets they generate, into classroom and field education settings.

Over the past five years UNAVCO has been working with faculty from a variety of institutions to bring TLS and RTK GPS into field camps and seminar courses. In recent years, the demand for education and outreach support for field education has increased substantially. Teaching resources are now available online to support TLS and RTK GPS field exercises ( UNAVCO is working with geoscience community members to procure additional funding to expand these efforts in order to meet demand for field education geodesy support. This presentation will share ongoing efforts in supporting field education and future directions of such community support.