Physics 325

PHYS 325
Geophysics Field Research

1. Catalog Entry

PHYS 325
Geophysics Field Research

Credit hours (4)
Prerequisites: PHYS 112 or PHYS 222, and permission of instructor

Study and use of geophysical and remote sensing methods in field settings. One week of remote field work is required, along with professional-level presentation of research results.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This class- and field-based course will provide students with experience in geophysical and remote sensing methods. The topics studied include the following:
    1) Geophysical equipment and data acquisition
    2) Geophysical software for data processing
    3) The basic theory behind data inversion software
    4) Planning and conducting a field exercise
    5) Ground truth methods to validate data obtained at the surface  
    6) Other sensors used in remote sensing such as those based on microcontrollers  
    7) GPS equipment and software
    8) Preparation of a professional research presentation

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will meet in the first half of the semester for at least 16 class/lab hours to become familiar with the geophysical equipment to be used in the field. The equipment used may include electrical resistivity (galvanic and capacitively coupled), seismic, ground penetrating radar, magnetometer, gravimeter, and perhaps custom-built sensors; the equipment used will depend on the location of the field site. Students will become familiar with the software required to process the geophysical data they obtain. Students will participate in planning the field campaign. Students will spend at least one week in the field performing the survey and analyzing the data in preliminary fashion. After their return from the field, students will fully process the data collected. Students will present their results at either the Student Engagement Forum or another open event organized by the Physics Department.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

To provide students with a geophysical research experience including geophysical instrumentation, data collection and analysis, planning and performing field research, and research presentation skills.

5. Assessment Measures

Students are graded on preparatory work with the equipment and software prior to the research trip; data collection and preliminary analysis in the field; group dynamics both prior to and during the research trip; full data analysis after the trip; preparation for and presentation of results at the Student Engagement Forum or other appropriate open venue; and a final write-up of the research results.

6. Other Course Information

None

Review and Approval

June 20, 2015