Short Course @GSA: Teaching SfM and GNSS/GPS Methods to Undergraduates in the Field

October 7-8, 2022 (8 am Friday-5 pm Saturday)

Boulder, Colorado (GSA 2022 Annual Meeting is in Denver October 9-12)


Short course participants will learn practical approaches for integrating structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) surveying (a.k.a. GPS) into undergraduate field courses, allowing them to generate georeferenced point clouds of high-resolution topographic data. Methods are appropriate for both summer field camps and academic-year courses with field components. The short course will include a significant amount of hands-on time with instruments from the GETSI Field Education Equipment loan pool, as well as support for data processing and instructional implementation planning. Travel support stipends of $340** plus 2 nights hotel accommodations are available.

Short course has filled. No further applications can be accepted.


Fieldwork is an integral part of the geosciences and there is a longstanding tradition of teaching field methods as part of the undergraduate curriculum. As Earth science research technologies have grown, there is more interest in introducing geodetic methods into field education courses. Technology integration into field education has several advantages, including student engagement and workforce development. This short course has been developed in response to community interest and input and builds on successful pioneering efforts of UNAVCO community members.

Teaching materials are drawn from the free online NSF-funded GETSI modules:


This short course is intended for instructors whose courses include at least some field teaching components. Summer field camp and academic-year courses with field components both qualify. Later-stage graduate students with teaching responsibility are also eligible. Participants of 2016-18 UNAVCO/GETSI field short courses are also welcome. (The greatest overlap would be with the 2017 short course. Check in with Beth [email below] if you have questions.)

Participants will need to complete some tasks prior to the short course start in order to maximize time during the course. See Participant Checklist.

Travel Support

Travel support is available for participants in the target audience.
The short course will be held in the Boulder-Longmont area northwest of Denver. Participants should plan to arrive to the area by the evening of Thursday October 6. Support will include:

  • Hotel accommodations nights of October 6 and 7 (Thursday and Friday nights)
  • $340 stipend** issued in the month following the short course

All participants will receive lunches during the short course, transportation during the course, and transportation to the Boulder Downtown Bus Station from which they can take an express bus to downtown Denver after 5 pm Saturday October 8.

More details about travel logistics can be found in Travel Information.


Participants will:

  • Be able to conduct SfM and kinematic GPS surveys with Emlid ReachRS2 receivers and do the related data processing
  • Be able to teach SfM and/or GPS methods applied to a geoscience research question of societal relevance
  • Make implementation plans for teaching the method/s in their own course/s


  • Benjamin Crosby (Idaho State University)
  • Bruce Douglas (Indiana University)
  • Beth Pratt-Sitaula (UNAVCO)
  • Christopher Crosby (UNAVCO & OpenTopography)


COVID19 Policies and Planning

We are focused on ensuring a safe and productive short course. GETSI has developed the following protocols related to COVID19 safety based on local and national guidelines. If conditions, advice, or requirements change, we will inform Participants as quickly as possible. We cannot reduce risk to zero. GETSI is asking attendees to protect the community and each other.

  1. All Participants must be up-to-date* on COVID vaccinations or have a medical exemption in order to attend the short course. Participants will need to show proof of vaccination or medical exemption (paper or electronic) during the check-in process, before entering the short course venue.
  2. All Participants will be required to wear masks while in indoor settings, unless they are giving a presentation or actively eating or drinking.
  3. On-site rapid antigen test kits will be available at no cost for any Participants who feel unwell, have COVID-like symptoms, and/or were exposed to someone else who tested positive.
  4. No Participant shall come to the short course if they are having COVID-like symptoms.
  5. If a Participant becomes COVID-positive during the short course they will need to stop attending immediately. The Participant must follow local and/or state guidelines for COVID positivity and quarantine. GETSI shall not be responsible for any losses, modifications, travel inconveniences, or any other disruptions to Participants due to positive COVID tests or quarantine.

*Up-to-date as defined by the US Center for Disease Control ( At the time of writing (July 15, 2022) this means a person has received their primary series of COVID-19 vaccines (2 Moderna or Pfizer; 1 J&J) and recommended boosters. We will endeavor to inform participants rapidly in the event there is a change to this guidance.

**Stipends will be sent out the month after the short course. Most stipends must go to US citizens/permanent residents or people at US institutions. A couple stipends are available for non-US people.


Contact Beth Pratt-Sitaula (prattsitaula AT

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