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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014
 

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Freshman Seminar 187: Earth's Environments and Ancient Civilizations



In the freshman seminar, "Earth's Environments and Ancient Civilizations," students study how to use global positioning systems (GPS), archaeological and geological data, geophysical technology, and computer programs to seek and examine the buried remnants of lost civilizations. The course included a trip to Cyprus, where students collected data for final presentations about how ancient civilizations altered the landscape and changed the environment — and vice versa. Read more.


Video Closed Captions


FREDERIK SIMONS: We are teaching
the students how to

use geophysical field
techniques of

a variety of types.

The two instruments that we
have taken out here are a

magnetometer and a
ground-penetrating radar.

The students are collecting
data, as they

wouldn't in the field.

They're setting up a grid.

They're having everything
GPS tagged.

They're going with tape measures
to try and define the

physical grid as well
as they can.

And then, as soon as they have
these organizational matters

out of the way, they're
starting to measure.

VIDUSHI SHARMA: This class
is designed to give us an

introduction to geoscience and
its practical applications.

Because in our field trip to
Cyprus, we'll actually be

using all the tools that we've
started to learn, including

MATLAB, LayTec a lot of software
programming that

helps us analyze the data we
collect from GPSes and

different fields instruments.

FREDERIK SIMONS: We go to
Cyprus, and we collect

geological data and geophysical
data, both on the

island of Cyprus and at a
specific archaeological site.

RAY BARTOLUCCI: The most
interesting part of the course

is probably field work and
actually get hands-on with all

these different materials and
resources that I've never used

before, getting the experience
with how to research.

AMELIA HANKLA: I really like
being out in the field and

actually taking real data,
instead of having to use other

people's data.

GRACE CHANG: And we're also
learning how to use software.

AMELIA HANKLA: How
to use MATLAB

GRACE CHANG: It's a big
portion of the class.

How to use LayTec and ArcGIS.

FREDERIK SIMONS: They're
collecting hundreds and

thousands of data points today,
which, of course, the

big work starts after they're
done, which is when they

download all the data onto
their computer and use a

variety of computational
techniques to look through it.

[MUSIC PLAYING]


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