2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


PERKINS, Dexter, PHILLIPS, Jessica and LINBACK, Marissa, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, Box 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202, dexter_perkins@und.edu

Several years ago, Dorothy Stout produced for her classroom a pioneering film titled "Geology Goes Hollywood." "Hollywood" was created by combining clips from famous Hollywood movies with some graphics and narration. The 30 minute film revealed a view of geology through Hollywood camera lenses – a view that has little basis in reality. Stout's film was entertaining but not particularly appropriate as an educational resource.

We decided to use Stout's approach to produce an introductory geology film for use in our introductory geology classroom. We have examined more than 200 movies, seeking relevant film clips to produce an intro geology video. The bad news is that good and relevant geology scenes are rare and generally very brief. Movie makers were much more interested in characters and action than in geology. Additionally, many of the best scenes are from unknown locations, removing some context and making them less useful than they might have been. The good news is that current technology makes capturing, combining, and editing of film clips quick and easy.

Although we have abandoned our initial goal of producing a complete introductory geology film, we have produced over a dozen short videos that we use in our classroom. Before we complete this project, we will produce one video, 10-15 minutes long, for each of the major topics covered in our introductory class. Besides film clips, these videos contain photographs, voice-overs, graphics and other components.

Our videos have a large entertainment aspect, just as Stout's original, but they also focus on promoting student learning. They cover important concepts and fundamental geological principles. They are popular with our students, provide views of geology they can see no other ways, form the basis for discussions, and provide excellent relaxing interludes to traditional classroom activities. They also meet requirements to qualify for an educational exemption, and so copyright is not a problem as long as we use them in our own classrooms.