Paper No. 140-7
Presentation Time: 10:30 AM
A CROSS-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO FIELD CAMP: INTEGRATING GEOPHYSICS, HYDROLOGY, AND ECOLOGY IN MOUNTAIN SYSTEMS
Advances in near-surface geophysics technologies, instrumentation, and computational availability have made geophysical imaging and interpretation accessible to the non-expert. We conducted a two-week field camp aimed to train students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to utilize geophysical techniques in cross-disciplinary studies. Students studied two distinct watersheds that exemplify the issues and importance of understanding subsurface-hydrological-ecological interactions in mountain systems. The first phase centered on near-surface geophysics. Within a single day, students were able to design surveys, collect data, create images, and give meaningful interpretations of geophysical datasets. Multiple representations of the geophysical subsurface (i.e. images of seismic refraction, electrical resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar) were used to assist students in conceptualizing the link between geology and hydrology. During the second hydrology phase of the field camp, students worked to better understand the fate and transport of water using observations of flow and water quality. The final phase focused on the role of vegetation in hydrology. Students studied sourcing of water for vegetation use in addition to transpiration to the atmosphere. Students were able to reflect upon their learning experience by giving final presentations of the data and interpretations. Integrating the datasets from three disciplines, students were challenged to extend their knowledge of near-surface geophysics from the first phase into more robust interpretations that required a high level of critical thinking.