Undergraduate Geophysics for students with little maths and physics

Hello everyone, my main interest in this channel is to explore better and more exciting ways to engage students into the world of geophysics, particularly for those who assume that the maths and physics is all way too complex for them. The reality is that all our students who go into exploration for minerals, hydrocarbons, water etc need some geophysical training, and the more they comprehend about the method and models the better. I’m keen to use a combination of the Geophysics for Practicing Geoscientists web resources with the notebooks and maybe some independent modelling/inversion exercises with SimPEG. Its exciting to me, and I’m happy to learn how to do this with the students.

Great to share experiences with others using these resources for teaching, and I am happy to contribute some of our own experiences and data sets from South Australia.


Hi @GrahamHeinson, thanks for your post! and apologies for the late reply. I am glad to hear you are interested in using some of these resources. The class we were teaching at UBC, EOSC 350: Environmental, Geotechnical and Exploration Geophysics is primarily taken by students who are geologists and geotechnical engineers. So understanding where geophysical data can be useful, setting realistic expectations, and equipping them with skills to ask questions of potential contractors or other geophysicists they may interact with in the future is the more important than the details of the math.

To enable interactive exploration of physics and computations, we created a collection of notebooks that use SimPEG under the hood to run simulations but allow students to interact with the code through slidebars, toggle buttons, etc (this is all through the ipywidgets library).

You can see the assignments and labs we used in conjunction with these on the course schedule. Feel free to let me know if you would like access to any of the original latex files. I would be happy to send them along (they have the answers in them, so I won’t post them publicly here :wink: )

Are there any specific areas where you would like to start building or adapting resources?

Thanks again and glad to have you in the community!

1 Like