Developing a New Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Geophysics and Hydrology Field Camp
A team of faculty at The University of Texas at El Paso developed and taught a new, three-week interdisciplinary undergraduate Geophysics and Hydrology Field Camp in Valles Caldera National Preserve during May 2019. During the first week, the senior undergraduate students learned basic geophysics and hydrology and then proposed their own experiments using shallow hammer seismic imaging, electrical resistivity tomography, ground-penetrating radar, gravity, magnetics, basic water chemistry, and hydrology measurement techniques. During the second week, students collected data in the field at Valles Caldera and wrote field reports detailing the data collection methods and locations. Finally, during the third week, students processed the geophysics and hydrology data and wrote final reports summarizing their results including subsurface models and interpretation. We present lessons learned from the field camp including recommendations for teaching geophysics and hydrology in the field from an interdisciplinary perspective to a broad group of geology and environmental science majors (mostly with little background in geophysics and hydrology). The University of Texas at El Paso has an enrollment of more than 25,000 undergraduates and is the largest institution within the continental United States having a Hispanic student body majority (~80%). We will discuss thoughts on inclusivity and accessibility in field teaching in light of our experience and unique student population.
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