2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Paper No. 207-13
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM-11:30 AM

A FIELD-BASED, WRITING INTENSIVE COURSE ON THE GEOLOGY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

BUDDINGTON, Andrew M., Science Department, Spokane Community College, 1810 N Greene Street, Spokane, WA 99217, abuddington@scc.spokane.edu.

The northeastern region of Washington State provides a rich diversity of spectacular geology. In the Spokane area are several key geologic features including the Columbia River Basalts, the Channeled Scablands, the Priest River metamorphic core complex, the Paleozoic continental margin, and the mid-Proterozoic Belt Supergroup. Within several hours drive of Spokane is Hells Canyon, the Cascade arc, two Mesozoic tectonic suture boundaries, and accretionary terranes. In all, this area provides an exceptional opportunity for field instruction using a variety of spectacular geologic features.

At Spokane Community College (SCC), a course in Pacific Northwest Geology (Geology 210) provides students with a hands-on, field based approach to learning about the geology of the Pacific Northwest. Geology 210 is a writing intensive course and meets the W requirements at SCC. Upon completion of the course, student technical writing abilities are greatly improved. This 5-credit lab science course teaches the basics of field observations using six mandatory 2-hour laboratory field trips and optional weekend field trips. Students are required to make and record field observations and then as part of individual lab assignments, write a technical field report. Students are encouraged to work in groups but the field reports are based on individual effort. In writing the field reports, students are provided with a framework of specific technical report requirements. A sample report is provided and the grading of reports is based on a rubric approach to the format of field observations and basic laboratory analysis. A final group project involves students visiting a field area (of their choice) and creating a web-based virtual tour of their field experience. These projects are a cooperative effort with the campus Web Master and are subsequently displayed on the course web site. Pacific Northwest Geology at SCC teaches students a greater understanding of the geologic forces that created the Pacific Northwest region and also emphasizes basic field skills with a rigorous and productive scientific and technical writing component.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 25, 2003)
Session No. 207
Teaching Local Geology: An NAGT Session In Honor of Robert Christman
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 2A
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 525

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