2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 16
Presentation Time: 11:45 AM


VINCENT, Robert K. and LEVINE, Norman S., Dept. of Geology, Bowling Green State Univ, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0218, rvincen@bgnet.bgsu.edu

Modern geology has been multidisciplinary since its origins over 250 years ago, calling for the application of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology to studies of the Earth, planets, and their moons. Multispectral remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) together offer new geological tools that increase the need for knowledge of other scientific disciplines even more than what has traditionally been accepted. In time, we expect that these new tools will be considered as important as isotopic age dating or geophysics (gravity, magnetic, and seismic data) for performing geological research.

Multispectral remote sensing requires that a geologist be trained to observe more than the rock outcrops in the field. The soils surrounding the outcrop and the vegetation growing on them may contain more extractible geological information than the outcrop itself, and much of the new information can come from wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye. Outputs from Ground Positioning Satellite (GPS) devices displayed in map form through GIS software are far more spatially accurate than paper maps and Brunton compasses, but geologists must learn to use the new devices and software before the benefits can be appreciated.

We foresee a future where almost every geology department in American universities will teach or have access to courses in geological remote sensing and GIS technology. Some of these courses will likely be provided in virtual cooperative universities, where several universities will pool their courses in remote sensing and GIS and offer them to students at member institutions. One like that is being planned by OhioView, which is a remote sensing/GIS consortium of 10 research universities in Ohio. Those plans will be described in this paper.

We also foresee the need for more geology students taking courses not ordinarily attractive to them in the past, such as botany, ecology, soils engineering, oceanography, geography, and agriculture. The other side of that coin is that there will be an increasing need for geology courses being taken by biologists, geographers, civil engineers, oceanographers, and agriculturalists. Water, vegetation, soils, and rocks are the most common land covers on Earth.