The Southern California Integrated GPS Network Education Module

Exploring the use of space technology in earthquake studies


Appropriate Grade Levels

High School and College Undergraduate

Design of the Module

This educational module was designed to allow students to interactively explore the use of SCIGN and its data in earthquake studies. It is divided into four major sections: Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, GPS, and Space Technology at Work. All of the sections include background material and activities; the first three sections focus primarily on introducing satellite technology and tectonic phenomena, and the final section serves to integrate knowledge learned in the first three by allowing students to use real SCIGN data in their investigations into plate tectonics, earthquakes, and GPS.

Primary concepts

  • Forces in the Earth cause its surface to change over time

  • Earthquakes release stress, causing permanent change in the Earth's crust

  • GPS is a satellite technology used as a tool to measure crustal change

  • SCIGN is a network of GPS stations used to study tectonics and earthquakes in Southern California


Principal authors

Maggi Glasscoe, Anne Mikolajcik, Andrea Donnellan, Mike Watkins, and Mark Smith

with funding provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Southern California Integrated GPS Network, and the Southern California Earthquake Center.


Table of Contents
Concepts covered
Title page


Last modified on 8/13/98 by Maggi Glasscoe (