Teaching

USArray Data Course Instructor

As part of the USArray data processing short course, I teach an introductory lecture on Python, which I also gave as an IRIS webinar (see video below).  The lecture assumes some basic knowledge of programming.  I point out how Python is different from lower-level languages like C or Fortran that are commonly used in the seismology community.  I also discuss object orientation, data types and structures, flow control statements, importing modules and writing functions, and features of the IPython interpreter.  This is intended to be a quick tour of the language–similar to what I’d do if we were sitting at a computer together and I had an hour to show you around.  If you’re interested and want to learn more about using Python to process seismic data, you should check out the excellent IRIS webinar on ObsPy.

GK-12 Fellowship

During my tenure as a GK-12 fellow, I served as a “resident scientist” in Marie Breitenstein’s 6th grade science class at Chute Middle School.  Special emphasis was placed on developing students’ computational thinking and scientific writing skills. I typically taught for two full days every 2-3 weeks.

Over the course of the year, I developed several new exercises for Dr. Breitenstein’s classes.  During some of my favorite activities, our students:

  • Used geophones to observe seismic waves traveling through the ground and calculated the velocity of the seismic waves

  • Experimented with a NetLogo model to explore various factors that control Earth’s climate

  • Discovered the structure of “mystery” planets by applying basic rules of P and S wave behavior and defended their interpretations in short class presentations

Teaching Assistantships

I enjoyed being a TA because I got to share my enthusiasm for Earth science!  In discussion sections and labs, I strove to incorporate relevant applications of lecture material.

Course descriptions are abridged and adapted from the full list on the department website.

Earth 105: Climate Catastrophes in Earth History

Instructor: Prof. Matt Hurtgen

Introduction to the fundamental components of the Earth system–the atmosphere, hydrosphere and solid Earth–and how they interact in response to internal and external influences to control climate.

Earth 110: Exploration of the Solar System

Instructor: Prof. Donna Jurdy

Examination of the Earth and solar system from a planetary perspective, including formation, evolution, and exploration of planets.

Earth 202: Earth’s Interior

Instructor: Prof. Suzan van der Lee

Size, mass, & density of the earth, seismic waves; earth structure from seismology; minerals and rocks; composition of mantle and core; heat and temperature in the earth, radiometric age dating; origin of the elements, formation of the solar system; meteorites, formation of the planets; continents and oceans, paleomagnetism, continental drift; earthquake focal mechanisms, plate boundaries and kinematics, mechanics of plate tectonics.

Earth 350: Physics of the Earth for ISP

Instructor: Prof. Craig Bina

Introduction to geophysics for students with strong mathematics and physics backgrounds. Basic ideas in seismic wave propagation, plate tectonics, geomagnetism, geothermics, and gravity. Study of the earth’s surface and the deep interior.

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