Integrating hydrology and geophysics into a traditional geology field course: The use of advanced project options
Published:December 01, 2009
Robert L. Bauer, Donald I. Siegel, Eric A. Sandvol, Laura K. Lautz, 2009. "Integrating hydrology and geophysics into a traditional geology field course: The use of advanced project options", Field Geology Education: Historical Perspectives and Modern Approaches, Steven J. Whitmeyer, David W. Mogk, Eric J. Pyle
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The incorporation of increasingly multidisciplinary aspects of geoscience curricula into a traditional geology field camp requires compromises. Among these, decisions about projects to reduce or eliminate and course prerequisites are two of the most challenging. Over the past 10 yr, the University of Missouri’s geology field camp has completed a two-stage plan to expand our projects in hydrology and geophysics while maintaining traditional aspects of our course and our standard prerequisites. The first stage added projects in surface and groundwater hydrology, seismic refraction, and surficial mapping during the fifth week of our six-week course, replacing an existing mapping project. The second stage added advanced project options that students can select to complete during the last week of the course. Advanced projects in hydrology and geophysics were added as alternatives to the existing hard-rock structural analysis project that had been the sixth-week project for all students. This staged addition has allowed us to: (1) integrate these projects into a curriculum that maintains a strong emphasis on historical bedrock geology, geologic mapping, and three-dimensional visualization; and (2) accommodate differences in the coursework that students have completed prior to beginning the field camp. Rather than requiring students to have prerequisite courses in hydrogeology or geophysics in order to select these advanced project options, we include sufficient instruction during the fifth and sixth weeks that builds upon previous projects to provide the required background.
To set up the context for our expanded hydrology and geophysics projects, this paper briefly describes our traditional field projects and our instructional philosophies. We describe the expanded projects that have been implemented during the fifth and sixth weeks of our course, project objectives, and the ways that these projects reinforce lessons learned during traditional field projects. We present the results of student surveys that have been used to evaluate the success of these efforts, and we discuss the personnel and equipment expenses required.