North-Central Section - 39th Annual Meeting (May 19–20, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:20 PM-5:20 PM


ISIORHO, Solomon A., Geosciences, Indiana Univ - Purdue Univ Ft. Wayne (IPFW), Fort Wayne, IN 46805,

Field-based study benefits undergraduates as it helps to relate theory to real world situations. Unfortunately, not many schools have all the materials or field sites close enough that students can visit during normal class time. However, there are lots of things that students can do or see to relate theory to practice. At the Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) campus, we have the opportunity to take entry-level students outdoors to relate what they learn to things around them.

Within the campus are a creek and a major river. The creek is used to show fluvial processes and features such as erosion, deposition, ripple marks, meanders, river stage, sediment transportation, and size and shape of sediments. Next to the creek are examples of mass wasting processes such as creep and slump. Along the creek is a pluvial wetland that is being used to study groundwater flow direction and water chemistry. Glacial till is exposed along the creek. Sand dunes of eolian origin are present on campus, though not noticed by most people. Glaciated features, such as the Fort Wayne Moraine and St. Joseph River, are present on campus but usually not recognized by students until shown through campus field trips. Within a 15-minute drive from the campus are sand beaches, beach ridges, and lake bed sediments. Several of the campus structures and buildings are made of different rock types. These are pointed out to students during some of the campus field trips. Also, within the IPFW campus is our world-famous Geo-garden. This geo-garden can be viewed online (, and is visited by several people from schools and institutions around the world. Student responses to these outdoor activities have been positive. An overwhelming majority of the students appreciate the exposure to the field on campus. Use what you have on campus to relate geology to their physical environments. This will be demonstrated with pictures of features at IPFW.