One of the projects I’m working on this summer is a Geophysics Field Experience funded by an NSF Geopath grant designed to give freshmen and sophomore college students with no little or no prior geoscience training a chance to experience geophysics research at the Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory, one of nearly a dozen NSF funded CZOs. Oner a two-week period, the students will learn basic surveying techniques, collect electrical resistivity tomography data, run a seismic refraction survey, study unsaturated water flow on a hill slope with ground-penetrating radar, and image water emerging on the face of a soil pit using thermal imaging cameras. The students will receive training from geophysics faculty, then collect and analyze their own data with the help of geoscience undergraduate and graduate student mentors. Student work in the field during the day, analyze data in the evenings, and sleep in the Penn State University dorms at night, with free days for team-building activities, guest lectures, and tours.
This year’s camp is the first of three, so if you know of interested students from Temple University, Rutgers, or nearby Community Collages, who will be freshmen or sophomores in the spring of 2019, 2020 encourage them to apply! A goal of the grant is to increase the number of women and minority students pursuing careers in the the geosciences, so preference will be given to applicants from underrepresented groups.