FIELD-BASED UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM AND RESEARCH EXPLORING GEOPHYSICAL METHODS, WITH APPLICATIONS TO THE STATE OF VERMONT
The geophysical instruments have facilitated new curricular and research opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in inquiry-based investigations of bedrock geology, surficial deposits, and groundwater resources in Vermont. Class and independent research projects are conceived in collaboration with VGS to compliment ongoing studies by state geologists. Students are involved in experimental design, and data collection, reduction and interpretation. Some of the challenges, but also some of the significant benefits, relate to the necessity of students learning to use a variety of software required to process data and integrate geophysical and geological data sets. In many cases, these projects serve to introduce students to geographic information systems and data management. Assessment efforts associated with this project include gauging improvement in students’ 3D visualization capabilities. The results of the student projects have direct applications to local environmental issues and, thus, provide a powerful mechanism for student engagement in STEM-related educational outreach to the public.