• If you are interested in taking the course please contact Sean P.S. Gulick. Enrollment for the class (GEO 348K/GEOf397F) is during spring semester.
• There are opportunities for undergraduate research using data collected in the class.
For more information please contact Sean P.S. Gulick.
About the course:
Each Maymester (between spring and summer semesters) the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) offers a field course designed to provide hands-on instruction for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in the collection and processing of marine geological and geophysical data. The course covers high-resolution air gun and streamer seismic reflection, CHIRP seismic reflection, multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, sediment coring, grab sampling and the sedimentology of resulting seabed samples (e.g., core description, grain size analysis, x-radiography, etc.).
Scientific and technical experts in each of the techniques first provide students with three days of classroom instruction. The class then travels to the Gulf Coast for a week of at-sea field work and on-shore lab work. Two small research vessels are used concurrently: one for multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, and sediment sampling, and the other for high-resolution seismic reflection and CHIRP sub-bottom profiling. Students rotate daily between the two vessels and lab work.
Upon returning to Austin, students work in teams to integrate data and techniques into a final project that examines the geologic history and/or sedimentary processes as typified by a small area of the Gulf Coast continental shelf. Students spend one week learning interpretation methods using industry-standard, state-of-the-art software (Focus, Landmark, Caris, Fledermaus). On the last day, students present their final project to the class and industry sponsor representatives.
This class satisfies field experience requirements for some degree programs. Enrollment is limited to 16 students.
“This was definitely the most rewarding class I’ve taken as an undergraduate at UT. The class provided practical and valuable field experience that I believe is beneficial for future careers in both academia and industry.” — Colin White, undergraduate student, 2016
“The Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Camp is one of the most valuable courses that the Jackson School of Geoscience offers. The course cultivates the hands-on experience of a scientific research cruise while providing the detailed instructor oversight of a superb graduate level course. The opportunity to acquire such practical skills in geophysical survey methods, processing, and interpretation is absolutely wonderful. Every student interested in Marine Geology, Geophysics, or Oceanography should take this class. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and my only regret is that I can’t take it again.” — Bud Davis, graduate student, 2016
“I loved this course. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was really impressed by how realistic an experience the instructors managed to create while compressing the lifecycle of a research project into 3 weeks…I was blown away by the resources that were dedicated to making this available to just 17 students. Normally, I get to learn about a new instrument by convincing somebody to hire me to work with it — anything else isn’t economically feasible. In this course, I got to learn to operate and interpret data from a number of sensors that I’d long been curious about. While it’s possible to study data interpretation purely in the office, I really enjoy participating in its collection and getting a visceral understanding of the factors that can influence its quality and possible artifacts. Being in the field makes the need to ask “what else could this be due to” way more obvious…The instructional team was fantastic, and remarkably generous with their time. Given how many new things we were learning, and how steep the learning curve is, their ready availability and assistance was crucial to making the course so enjoyable. They made it seem that not only were they invested in making this course as good as possible, but that they also enjoyed the process.” — Laura Lindzey, graduate student, 2015
Thanks to our 2016 sponsors!
Arthur E. Maxwell Graduate Fellowship in Geophysics
Quarles Van Ufford UTIG Field Endowment
The Scott Petty Foundation
You, too, can make a difference! We invite you to make a contribution to the Marine Geology and Geophysics ship-board field experience. Your support will help a student understand the wonders of marine exploration. Gifts are also eligible for corporate matching. And, of course, contributions are tax-deductible. Please click on the link below and write in “Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Experience” in the text box.