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Geophysics is a branch of the natural sciences that focuses on the application of physics to the study of the Earth and the near-Earth environment. Is it all equations and complicated math? Sometimes! Not for us, though. Geophysics takes the wonderful world of physics and provides the Earth as a playground to explore physics concepts while developing an understanding of our planet. Why did the Appalachian Mountains form? What’s the earthquake risk in California? How do we know there used to be a subduction zone, where we now have the San Andreas fault? Why does Yellowstone exist? Geophysics provides a perspective on all of these questions in a way that takes us deeper into understanding our planet than we can get by looking at the rocks, surface processes and landforms. Join me for this four week class in which we will explore North America through the methods of geophysics to develop a new understanding of our continent.
Instructor: Nicola Richmond
Nicola Richmond is the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness at Pima Community College. She oversees strategic planning, institutional and operational effectiveness, federal and state reporting and ad hoc reporting at the institution. She has an extensive data analysis and research background that most recently focuses on higher education, but her experience also includes the analysis of magnetometer data for the moon and Mars, and the application of cellular automata models to coastal environments. She has a PhD in Geology from University College London. Her doctoral research focused on the incorporation of aluminum and iron into deep Earth magnesium silicate minerals using numerical modeling approaches from quantum mechanics and solid state physics. Nic has a strong interest in cross-disciplinary research approaches, taking techniques from the sciences and bringing them to higher education research.
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