• 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.
Read more about the class in these two articles from the Jackson School of Geosciences:
“I loved this course! I found it very rewarding and I really appreciated learning about the actual process of data collection, analysis, and presenting our interpretations to a group of people. It gave me a chance to apply concepts we’ve learned in lectures and labs to real-world research environments, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
— Patty Standring, undergraduate student, 2018 class
“I had an amazing time in the MG&G field course! Being exposed to a magnitude of data collection techniques first-hand was far more educational than what I have learned in a classroom setting. Also, working with a group to achieve a common goal in such a short period of time taught me the importance of being a team player as well as being patient with my fellow colleagues. 5 out 5 stars!”
— Tom Messer, undergraduate student, 2018 class
“The Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Course is undoubtedly an extraordinary experience for all young geoscientists. The course provided us with superior and practical training in data acquisition, processing, and interpretation – all of which are crucial skills for students to possess. In addition, we worked in teams throughout the course to complete a research project and present meaningful results, a process that developed effective communication and teamwork skills that will be invaluable in the future. Lastly, the course allowed us to form professional and personal relationships with the instructors and fellow students, thus expanding the connectivity amongst the Jackson School of Geosciences community.”
— Brandon Shuck, graduate student, 2017 class
Thanks to our 2018 sponsors!
Fugro USA Marine, Inc.
The Scott Petty Foundation
Arthur E. Maxwell Graduate Fellowship in Geophysics
Quarles Van Ufford UTIG Field Endowment
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.