GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 216-7
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


PIERCE, Suzanne A.1, FUENTES-PINEDA, Gibran2, ARORA, Ritu1 and CABRAL-CANO, Enrique2, (1)Texas Advanced Computing Center, Austin, TX 78758-4497, (2)Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico,

Geosciences research frequently focuses on process-centered phenomena, studying combinations of physical, geological, chemical, biological, ecological, and anthropomorphic factors. These interconnected systems can be best understood through the use of computational models and analyses, resulting in the need to document methods and workflows while creating tools to support exploration of scientific research questions. Simultaneously, Earth systems data is interesting for computing sciences instruction and skills-building because it tends to be uncertain, dynamic, intermittent, sparse, multiresolution, and multi-scale. The Intelligent Systems for Geosciences (IS-GEO) course materials and curricular design aim to support workforce development, build capacity among both geoscientists and computer scientists, and create science-grade datasets with reusable assets for different case studies. Using geosciences case studies as a contextual motivation for teaching combined geosciences and computing skills provides rich, problem-based background knowledge to help students connect general computing techniques to applied solutions to real-world challenges. The significance of the IS-GEO course stems from its primary focus on integrating the development of computing skills into the students' engagement with geosciences concepts. Organized around the framework of the data lifecycle, content for the course is drawn from ongoing research on urban vulnerability to subsidence in central Mexico and groundwater decision support systems for central Texas. Students use data for this real-world problems to learn about and apply IS-GEO knowledge and skills by conducting an applied research project. The curricula emphasizes the integration of applied research to develop teaching resources that facilitate presentation of this innately interdisciplinary content.