Instructor Story: Sarah Kruse

Using the Measuring Depth to Bedrock Using Seismic Refraction IGUaNA module at the University of South Florida

I used these materials in my Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Physical Geology course at the University of South Florida. This course meets for 75 minutes twice a week and has a maximum of 24 students. GLY 2010 is a first course in geology emphasizing the Earth's composition, structure, and dynamics. Lectures/activities include but are not limited to plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism, glaciation, global warming, shorelines, and natural resources. This is an introductory level course taken by a mix of STEM majors and non-STEM majors. It counts toward majors in Geology and Environmental Science & Policy. See the course syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 364kB Apr4 22) for more detail.


These modules illustrate the physics of the geophysical methods with lots of good images and videos.


The module was assigned as an activity to be completed over the course of one week in a 15-week semester. Students were able to choose among this module, the Ground Penetrating Radar module, and the Electrical Resistivity module. I advertised it as a week on "Geophysics." I used it in both a fully online class during the pandemic and an in-person class that became effectively hybrid due to repeated quarantine requirements.

Students liked the hands-on work and the real-world applications, and a break from the big-picture introductory geoscience. A few students struggled with Excel. I encouraged students to work together online on the think-pair-share and some did. In the post-pandemic future I hope to follow this up with on-campus opportunities for students to collect their own data, I think that will really strengthen the impact of the module and make them feel like they are actively doing science.


I used the module in its entirety, without modification.

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