Integrating GPS, SfM, and TLS into Geoscience Field Courses

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

11:00 am PT | 12:00 pm MT | 1:00 pm CT | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Beth Pratt-Sitaula (UNAVCO), Benjamin Crosby (Idaho State University), Bruce Douglas (Indiana University)

This webinar is part of a series supporting teaching with InTeGrate principles, using InTeGrate-developed and curated materials as tools. The modules in this webinar are from an InTeGrate sister-project called "GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues" GETSI.

Registration is closed.


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. The webinar will introduce instructors of geoscience field courses to using global positioning system (GPS), terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and structure from motion (SfM) with undergraduates. The webinar will overview two modules High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS/GNSS and Analyzing High Resolution Topography with TLS and SfM. Presenters will give brief overviews of the geodetic methods and module components and provide tips on how best to use them with undergraduates.

The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentations and 25 minutes of discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences regarding field teaching. The modules are particularly appropriate for majors-level courses in field geology, environmental geology, structural geology, geotechnology, GIS, geomorphology, geophysics, tectonics, geohazards, or any other course with a field component.


At the end of this webinar, participants will have:

  • learned more about geodetic field methods (GPS, lidar, and SfM)
  • better awareness of the challenges and benefits of integrating geodetic field methods into geoscience courses with field components
  • greater familiarity with GETSI (GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues) teaching resources and principles
  • connections to new colleagues engaged in this work


Time - 11:00 am PT | 12:00 pm MT | 1:00 pm CT | 2:00 pm ET
- 1 hour
- Online web presentation via Zoom meeting software with questions and discussion. Go to the webinar technology page for information on using Zoom. Detailed instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar.
Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Registration is closed.

Please email Mitchell Awalt ( if you have any questions about this event.


Beth Pratt-Sitaula, Science Education Specialist, UNAVCO

Benjamin Crosby, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, Idaho State University

Bruce Douglas, Senior Lecturer and Director, IU Judson Mead Geologic Field Station, Indiana University


Field Geodesy Webinar Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 44.2MB Apr24 18)

1) Welcome and introductory remarks – Mitchell Awalt, SERC
2) Brief overview of GETSI Guiding Principles and field module development process –Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
3) Analyzing High Resolution Topography with TLS and SfM module – Bruce Douglas, Indiana University

  • Overview of module and examples of high resolution topography applications
  • Tips on how to teach TLS and SfM methods successfully with undergraduates
4) High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS/GNSS module – Benjamin Crosby, Idaho State University
  • Overview of module and examples of GPS/GNSS geoscience applications
  • Perspectives on how to engage students successfully in high precision positioning field work
5) Reflections by participants
  • How do you or how would you like to incorporate geodetic methods into your teaching?
  • (And what else might you need to make this a reality?)
6) Concluding remarks by presenters
7) Opportunities for further interaction - Mitchell Awalt, SERC

8) Webinar Evaluation


Click to view the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 128.5MB Apr24 18)