CLaSH Graduate Summer Field Course JULY 17-22 2023

  • Are you interested in studying land surface hazards like landslides and post-fire debris flow? And understanding how these processes relate to triggers like earthquakes and storms?
  • Does the study of extreme events to serve societal needs and advance understanding of how geomorphic systems work appeal to you?
  • Would training on cutting-edge technology to measure land surface change following disasters advance your graduate education?

If these questions speak to you, check out our graduate summer short-course sponsored by the Center for Land Surface Hazards (CLaSH). It’s a fully-funded opportunity by NSF to advance your skills, knowledge and connections to other researchers with a intensive, hands-on training experience in Colorado this summer. Better yet, it is an action-packed, six-day experience designed to fit into busy graduate student schedules. Your advisor is sure to say YES!

Eligibility: The course is open to any graduate student (MS or PhD) in relevant geoscience and engineering fields who is currently enrolled or matriculating in Fall 2023.

Course Description: This class will provide hands-on training for geodetic field surveys to generate high-resolution digital surface models and practical laboratory experience with data processing and digital surface model change detection. The study sites are mountain regions affected by the 2020 Cameron Peak fire that have experienced significant geomorphic change via post-wildfire erosion and flooding. Participants will gain hands-on experience with Uncrewed Arial Vehicles (UAVs) and Photogrammetry, Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), and kinematic GPS and learn how to design and implement field surveys for surface change detection (supported by EarthScope Consortium). After the data acquisition is complete, participants will work with newly generated and existing datasets of the study sites to conduct change detection exercises in the computer lab on CSU’s Mountain Campus.

Location: Colorado State University, Mountain Campus (~2 hr drive from Fort Collins, CO).

Dates: Arrive in Fort Collins, CO, in the early afternoon of Monday, July 17th, and buses will take participants to CSU’s Mountain Campus. Depart CSU’s Mountain Campus on the morning of Saturday, July 22nd.

Instructors: Erika Schreiber (EarthScope Consortium), Samuel Beane (EarthScope Consortium), Ben Mason (USGS), Sean F. Gallen (CSU)

Accommodations: Shared cabins with bunks (Conference Center Cabins). Each cabin has six rooms. Each room has three to four bunks and its own bathroom. The facility has a cafeteria where participants and instructors will eat breakfast and dinner. Most days, participants will be provided with a bagged lunch.

Planned Activities Outline:

  • July 17th – Arrive in Fort Collins, CO, in the early afternoon. Load onto busses and arrive at Mountain Campus to get settled before dinner and a safety and overview briefing of the upcoming schedule.
  • July 18th – Meet on campus for a summary of previous and ongoing work related to the post-fire hazard cascade. This will be followed by a lecture on the basics of the equipment used during the course and considerations of designing a survey. Depart Mountain Campus to visit the fire burn site. Break into groups and begin surveys. Return to the Mountain Campus before dinner.
  • July 19th – Depart Mountain Campus to visit the fire burn site. Break into groups and continue surveys. Return to the Mountain Campus before dinner.
  • July 20th – If needed, finalize field surveys and return to Mountain Campus after lunch for a lecture on data processing and digital surface model change detection.
  • July 21st – Work in groups on change detection assignments provided newly generated and pre-existing data from the survey area.
  • July 22nd – Depart Mountain Campus after breakfast for Fort Collins, CO.



May 8: Applicants are notified of review committee decisions

May 15: Selected applicants must confirm acceptance and commitment to attend

Questions can be sent to More information about the CLaSH Catalyst at

Apply to CLaSH Graduate Summer Field Course