GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 305-11
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


WHITEHILL, Caroline1, JARAMILLO, Carlos Marcelo2, FRANCO, Ana Maria2, RAMIREZ CORREA, Adiela3, GUANEME RAMÍREZ, Carlos Alberto4, LÓPEZ, Gonzalo Iván3, VARGAS, Sebastian2, ARDILA ROA, José Ricardo5, OCAMPO CARDONA, Nathalia6 and RODRIGUEZ, Sandra3, (1)Geology Department, College of the Desert, 43-500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260; Geological Sciences, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7523, (2)Geological Sciences, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia, (3)Department of Environment and Environmental Hazards, CorpoCaldas, Manizales, Colombia, (4)Gubernacion de Manizales, Manizales, Colombia, (5)Geociencias, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia, (6)Geological Sciences, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, 11367-1597, Colombia; Applied Environmental Geosciences, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College, New York, NY 11367-1597,

Project-based learning in a blended classroom provided a successful approach to International education and technology exchange as part of a Fulbright Colombia program between the University of Caldas in central Colombia and Central Washington University. The course included undergraduates (11), graduate (3) and professionals (8) and was taught in English. It was co-led by Colombian and American professors and focused on geohazards of the region. Professional students included geologists and hydrologists from local government agencies, such as, staff members from the Volcano Observatory managed by the Colombian Geological Society, geologists from Caldas State and CorpoCaldas, similar to our State Department of Natural Resources.

Following one month of traditional lecture/lab style introduction to the approaches and English terminology prominent in geohazards investigations, the students were grouped, by their choice, into three fields of investigation: Volcano Hazards, Landslide Hazards and Seismic Hazards. The volcano hazards group worked on developing a seasonally-dependent pyroclastic fall distribution model. The landslide hazards group focused on a field-based landslide mapping and susceptibility map and model for a vulnerable watershed located near the regional airport. The seismic hazards group worked with local experts to develop a ground motion model for the active faults of the state of Caldas. Student-groups presented their work as 30-minute presentations at the University of Caldas, in English, and open to the public.