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

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


LOHRENGEL II, C. Frederick, Division of Geosciences, Southern Utah Univ, 351 W. Center St, Cedar City, UT 84720, lohrengel@suu.edu

Research projects come in all sizes from uninteresting small ones to overwhelming large projects that that a lifetime. With research incorporated into an undergraduate laboratory-based class activity, guiding a student into an appropriate size and difficulty project may become a major task. Armed with the knowledge that a large project is no more than the synthesis of a number of smaller related projects we investigated several projects prior to settling on the structural geology of the Parowan Gap area, Iron County, Utah, located approximately 20 north of our campus.

After evaluation of student abilities and interests the large project was subdivided at logical boundaries into seven smaller parcels. In order to provide for continuity of the completed projects each parcel overlapped its adjoiner a reasonable amount. For safety, transportation, and camaraderie most of the parcels were assigned to two member teams. Students were taken into the field by the professor to introduce them to the project. The professor made at least two more visits into the field on each of the projects to check progress and help with problems. To provide the students with a professional-like experience, the final results were reported at an evening Geology Club meeting so the class members had a reasonable sized audience. In addition to giving the class members a presentation opportunity, other students, spouses, and a few parents in the audience had an opportunity to learn what was going on in class. The projects and presentations provided a reasonably detailed look at the structure of the Parowan Gap area and the students experienced a project-based laboratory assignment, and had a good learning experience.