Brown is working with faculty colleagues to develop a new version of the field geophysics program that serves several purposes:
- give undergraduates the opportunity to fulfill field experience requirements without having to apply to third-party programs, which can be expensive and far away
- provide hands-on training in key geophysical and geodetic technologies
- engage students in the study of important geoscience problems that are well-represented in central New York and addressable by these technologies
- link scientific field studies to the needs and interests of the residents of this area
Each year the class will be tasked with defining a local problem that involves the shallow subsurface, learning techniques that may be useful in addressing that problem, designing a set of field experiments to collect data to solve the problem and then analyzing the results.
The key difference in the new version of the field course is the desire to engage external stakeholders in identifying which issues or concerns are most relevant to the community, to engage the community in the design and acquisition of the relevant data and then to communicate the findings to external stakeholders in an understandable, perhaps even actionable, manner.