UBC-GIF Outreach Program

Goals: to provide ...

1) Awareness of inversion methods,
2) Understanding about the capabilities of inversion, and
3) Access to technology.

The primary focus for the UBC-GIF is research into theory, methodology and applications of geophysical inversion. As an academic group, we recognize the importance of education and interaction with industry and society. Therefore our outreach program exists to promote fundamental awareness and understanding about inversion, and to make inversion codes available to geoscientists in the public and private sectors.


The most effective accomplishments of the UBC-GIF outreach program have been:

  1. Highly effective interactions with sponsors for over 17 years (as of summer 2007).
  2. Several industry oriented workshops to introduce the geophysical community to best-practices in geophysical inversion of non-seismic data.
  3. The ubcgif website, which is our primary means of puplicity and delivery of tutorials, software utilities, modelling and inversion code documentation, and announcements.
  4. Production and delivery free of charge to the geoscience community, the IAG (Inversion for Applied Geophysics) learning resource package. UBC-GIF has released it as a free download from flintbox, a global intellectual property exchange. See the IAG outline page for details.
June 29, 2007


  • Attendance and presentations at scientific conferences, conventions and trade shows.
  • The UBC-GIF website
  • Interaction with third party distributors of ubc-gif modelling and inversion codes.


  • Attendance and presentations at scientific conferences, conventions and trade shows.
  • Presentation of one-day workshops on geophysical inversion aimed primarily at the exploration industry
    • May 1998: a workshop on inversion of 2D DC resistivity and IP resistivity data in Vancouver, BC.
    • May 1999: a workshop on inversion of 3D magnetics data in Vancouver, BC.
    • August 2000: a workshop on linear inversion, 3D magnetics in version and 2D DC resistivity / IP inversion at the SEG2000 meeting in Calgary Alberta.
    • May 2003: Understanding Geophysical Inversions for Mineral Exploration, at the On The Edge: Vancouver 2003 meeting, co-sponsored by The Geological Association of Canada, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, and the Society of Economic Geologists.
  • Interaction with third party distributors of ubc-gif modelling and inversion codes.
  • Feedback and help for users via email.
  • Teaching inversion in undergraduate and graduate courses in UBC's Department of Earth and Ocean Science.
  • Development of a text- and exercise-based CD-ROM for teaching and learning geophysical inversion. Educational versions of many modelling and inversion codes are included, as well as data sets and exercises to practice with the methods.
  • Tutorials on the UBC-GIF website


  • Academic licensing to accredited academic institutions for reasearch or teaching purposes. See the "Software" link on the ubcgif website.
  • Commercial licensing of modelling and inversion codes via third party distributors.
  • Educational versions of codes with some restrictions on number of data points and mesh sizes (available late spring 2005).

Background on the need for Outreach

Interpretation of geophysical data is complicated, and the inherent nonuniqueness of the problem has inspired many ways of thinking about field data sets.  Formal inversion techniques involve applying a rigorous approach to addressing nonuniqueness, and to handling noisy data. In addition, solving useful problems involves describing the Earth's subsurface with a great many parameters, so the mathematical systems that must be solved become very large, even for ordinary problems. Much of the research therefore draws upon techinques in applied mathematics for linear and non-linear solution of large optimization problems.

The benefits of working in this way have been proven by mineral exploration companies and earth science professionals. Yet there is a significant learning curve for professionals still working with geophysical information in traditional ways. This is why the UBC-GIF has instigated an outreach program with a mandate to provide accessibility, awareness, and understanding to all those interested in inversion of geophysical (or other similar) data.

Professional geoscientists interested in extracting as much information as possible from geophysical surveys need to know about rigorous inversion techniques. Therefore, all undergraduate students in geological engineering and geophysics at UBC are required to take applied geophysics courses which include aspects of formal inversion.  All these courses are listed on a general applied geophysics page, at the UBC Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Finally . . .

Please browse the rest of the UBC-GIF website at for information on all aspects of inversion for applied geophysics. You can also contact us at

UBC-GIF contact address

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