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Geophysics Field Education

Impactful geoscience education often happens outside the classroom. This page links to a variety of educational resources to support instructors and undergraduate students as they venture into the field with geophysics instruments.

Instrumentation

EarthScope Primary Instrument Center (EPIC)

EarthScope Primary Instrument Center (EPIC) loans a variety geophysics instruments for educational use in the USA. Instruments are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

  • GPS/GNSS surveying – teaching kits of Emlid Reach RS2/2+ real-time kinematic (RTK) receivers (typically 1 base, 4 rovers, and related survey supplies; but other configurations are possible)
  • Multi-channel seismic systems – Geodes, geophones, takeout cables, field laptop
  • Ground penetrating radar – Noggin GPR, antennae (100, 250, 500, 1000 MHz available), field laptop, educational access to software
  • SfM supplies – ground control points, 4.5-meter telescoping SfM pole, camera

Requesting instruments from EPIC (formerly PASSCAL)

Requests go through the EPIC Experiment Scheduling Instrument Request Form. The first step is to set up your PI Account. This tutorial walks you through the general instrument request process.

Detailed guidance for educational users is below.

Cost

EPIC instruments have no rental fee but users pay for shipping. Educational waivers are available for low-resource institutions or people who recently completed a educational short course with EarthScope and are borrowing instruments for the first time.

Typical round-trip shipping costs within the USA are:

  • GPS/GNSS – $225 (for 5 receivers), $150 (2 receivers)
  • Seismic – ~$450-650
  • GPR – ~$300-350

Other Geophysics Instruments

The Near-Surface Geophysics Center at the University of Wyoming has other instruments available for rent.

  • Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) – SuperSting
  • CG-5 MicroGravimeter

Requesting instruments from U of WY

U of WY ERT Rental Checklist 2023-08-10

Costs

Electrical resistivity and gravimeter equipment must be rented. Shipping costs also apply.

Teaching Resources

GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI)

As part of the GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) project, EarthScope and community partners have developed curricular resources to aid in teaching field geodetic methods (see three examples below). Resources are appropriate for undergraduate and some graduate field courses.

Available modules:

Introducing Geophysics for Urban and Near-surface Applications (IGUaNA)

The urban and environmental geophysics modules developed by the IGUaNA project are designed with the goal of attracting and engaging students from underrepresented groups to try geophysics, and potentially to pursue a geophysics career. These modules aim to engage students in hands-on/minds-on learning of geophysics content and skills that can be directly related to issues of societal relevance that are important to the students.  Resources are appropriate for introductory-level undergraduate field courses.

Available modules:

If you have any questions on educational use of geophysics field methods or instrumentation please reach out to education@earthscope.org

If you would like to join the Teaching Geophysics Interest Group, send a blank email to teaching-geophysics+subscribe@earthscope.org.

This moderated email group occasionally sends out announcements of resources, workshops, or other opportunities related to teaching geophysics.