Teaching geophysics in developing countries



It would be difficult to overestimate the need for a physical understanding of natural phenomena in developing countries. Education, in modern times, goes hand in hand with empirical and mechanical interpretations of the physical world, in contrast with more primitive, animistic ideas. Quite apart from basic cultural drives, people in their daily lives see the need to explain and reduce the hazards caused by floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and land deformations, which continue to devastate wide areas of various parts of the world. In addition, there are the obvious applications of geophysics to exploration for mineral resources, to oil prospecting, and to the development of geothermal energy.