Teaching Materials

The IGUaNA teaching materials feature urban environmental, engineering, and forensic questions that can be answered, at least in part, through geophysics. They are designed to maximize student engagement and learning through analysis of real data and clear connections to communities. Published materials meet rigorous benchmarks for student-centered learning outcomes, instructional strategies, resource content, and assessment effectiveness; have been peer-reviewed; and have been pilot-tested by multiple instructors to ensure usability in a range of different institutions and courses.

Each IGUaNA module is comprised of three to five "units" and takes about 1-3 weeks of class time when done in its entirety. For instructors with less time available, Using IGUaNA Modules provides guidance on how a subset of units can be selected instead.


Measuring depth to bedrock for an urban renewal project using seismic refractionPipes, tree roots or unmarked graves? Forensic geophysics using GPREvaluating the health of an urban wetland using electrical resistivityLocating Subsurface Features using Gravity and Magnetics

Each of the introductory modules focuses on the applications of a single geophysical method to questions or problems that affect local communities. In total, these four modules contain approximately 8 weeks of content which could fill about half of a full-semester course. For instructors using all the modules, we recommend starting with the seismic refraction unit, Measuring Depth to Bedrock for an Urban Renewal Project, followed by the Ground Penetrating Radar unit, Pipes, Tree Roots or Unmarked Graves? Forensic Geophysics, and finishing with the electrical resistivity unit, Evaluating the Health of an Urban Wetland. The rationale for this progression is that Measuring Depth to Bedrock begins with several very general concepts related to approaching environmental problems with geophysics as well as relationship of the material to possible career paths. The content of Pipes, Tree Roots or Unmarked Graves? Forensic Geophysics serves as a good bridge because it focuses on imaging both natural and manufactured targets in the subsurface and includes additional context related to the use of geophysics for sub-surface imaging. Finally, Evaluating the Health of an Urban Wetland introduces some more advanced topics for which the background in the other two units is useful.

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