This project is a collaborative effort among a university consortium, community college, university, STEM education center, and geoscience professional organization to develop, test, and disseminate undergraduate teaching resources that incorporate recent and exciting advances in geodesy (the science of measuring and monitoring the size, shape and distribution of mass on Earth). Curricular development emphasizes societally relevant modules (e.g., earthquake and landslide hazards, water resources), which feature authentic data from such geodetic sources as land-based global positioning systems (GPS), satellite-based gravity and topographic measurements with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution, and aerial light-detection-and-ranging (LiDAR) surveys. Modules developed for both introductory and advanced geoscience courses are undergoing rigorous assessment and revision at a range of institutions. Dissemination to the broader geoscience-education community includes workshops, webinars and web-accessible modules and a developer's manual.
The intellectual merit of this project lies in its compelling rationale for the need of high-quality educational materials, currently not available in textbooks or laboratory manuals, which merge recent geodesy-related advances and insights with societally relevant cases. The project team leverages the diverse expertise of the partnering institutions and organizations in geodesy content, in research-informed pedagogy and assessment, and in effective approaches to dissemination. Broader impacts include the diverse range of students and institutions involved, ensuring both direct benefits during materials development and high potential for widespread adoption, aided by proactive and effective dissemination pathways. Incorporation of geodesy principles and methods in the undergraduate curriculum also enhances quantitative skills, aids workforce development in this rapidly growing area, and enhances basic earth-science literacy.