Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-26
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2021-26

  09 Sep 2021

09 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GC.

A Remote Field Course Implementing High-Resolution Topography Acquisition and Applications Applied to Geomorphology

Sharon Bywater-Reyes1 and Beth Pratt-Sitaula2 Sharon Bywater-Reyes and Beth Pratt-Sitaula
  • 1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, 80639, United States
  • 2Education and Community Engagement, UNAVCO, Boulder, Colorado, 80301, United States

Abstract. The course "Geoscience Field Issues Using High-Resolution Topography to Understand Earth Surface Processes" was originally intended to be conducted in-person with both field data collection and analysis to meet the "field" component of the University of Northern Colorado's Earth Science degrees (Environmental and Geology). With the 2020 world pandemic and cancellation of most in-person activities for 2020, the course was adapted for 100 % online implementation with an optional one-day field campaign. To prepare for the changed delivery model, UNAVCO and the University of Northern Colorado collected GNSS data, drone imagery for use in structure from motion, and terrestrial laser scanning from a site near Greeley, Colorado USA on the Cache la Poudre River. These data were used in mock field campaigns and real analyses implemented by students virtually through Zoom and Canvas. The objective of the course is to train students in manual and remote sensing methods of topographic data collection, including 1) GPS/GNSS surveys, 2) structure from motion (SfM), and 3) ground-based (terrestrial laser scanning, TLS) and airborne LiDAR. Course content focused on earth-surface process applications, but could be adapted to other applications. This was taught workshop style with the bulk of the instruction and application occurring within a 2-week period during the summer. Students from throughout North America attended the course, most meeting Field Camp requirements required for graduation. Despite the challenging conditions, students met the majority of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ Field Capstone Learning Outcomes.

Sharon Bywater-Reyes and Beth Pratt-Sitaula

Status: open (until 04 Nov 2021)

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Sharon Bywater-Reyes and Beth Pratt-Sitaula

Sharon Bywater-Reyes and Beth Pratt-Sitaula

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Short summary
This paper outlines educational materials appropriate to teach upper-division or graduate-level geoscience students how to produce and interpret high-resolution topography data. These datasets are useful in interpreting river and hillslope processes with implications for flooding and mass wasting. Students can use the training for environmental jobs or research settings.
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