Stanford University

Geophysical imaging provides key insights for groundwater management

In GEOPHYS 190: Near-Surface Geophysics, Rosemary Knight and Dustin Schroeder help students apply geophysical imaging methods and tools to sustainable water management in California’s Central Valley. 

ClockOctober 10, 2018

Stanford graduate and undergraduate students in GEOPHYS 190: Near-Surface Geophysics are applying the latest in geophysical concepts, imaging methods, and tools to assisting growers in California’s Central Valley with sustainable water management. The goal is to determine what approaches work best to replenish, or recharge, the groundwater supply without damaging produce – findings that may have broad application given water shortages across the western United States.

Taught by Rosemary Knight and Dustin Schroeder, the course is one of 189 Cardinal Courses, or community-engaged learning courses, offered each year at Stanford that integrate rigorous academic learning and research with real-world service experience.

Cardinal Courses: Rosemary Knight & Dustin Schroeder

Through Cardinal Courses, Stanford is redesigning teaching and learning by placing community engagement at the fore of academic excellence,” said Senior Vice Provost for Education Harry Elam, Jr. “As we look to the future, these courses will play an instrumental role in strengthening and expanding the university’s mission of advancing knowledge and applying it for the benefit of humanity.

Stanford faculty now offer more community-engaged learning courses than at any time in the university’s history. Annual Cardinal Course offerings have more than quadrupled in five years – from 46 courses in 2014, to 189 in 2018. Yearly enrollment has increased from 790 students to 2,786 in the same period. More than 150 faculty now teach Cardinal Courses spanning 55 academic departments and programs.

A series of new videos depicts the diverse ways these courses enable students to apply what they learn in the classroom to working with and learning from public service leaders, critically examining public issues, and getting hands-on experience in projects that address community needs.

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