2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 144-8
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM-3:45 PM


ATCHISON, Christopher, School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, 275 Mendenhall Laboratory, 125 South Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, atchison.6@osu.edu

Field-based learning is rarely designed as a multidimensional experience. The traditional goal of the learning experience has typically been to select a target area and then find a way to experience that study in a conventional manner. However, as fieldwork has been predominantly constructed around a narrow, sensory experience which often prevents the participation of students with disabilities, we are failing to see the perspective that these students can offer the learning environment. Fieldwork objectives should be delivered through the use of multiple modalities.

There is little doubt that due to the lack of options in completing the geoscience education field research requirements, we are failing to realize the talents of all men and woman, regardless of their physical ability. With the emphasis placed on field research at the undergraduate level, persons with mobility impairments face almost no chance of obtaining a higher education in the geosciences. Additionally, the lack of highly publicized career opportunities in the geosciences have often discouraged potential students from pursuing undergraduate and graduate level degrees in geology.

As a result of advanced technological modes of inquiry, there are innovative approaches of providing field study experiences within a controlled setting. Even for those with extreme physical limitations, visualization technologies now being used in the geoscience industry can provide educational and career opportunities to a diverse population of geoscientists. This presentation will discuss the investigation of alternative field environments using virtual reality (VR) to engage student populations who, because of their physical limitations, are unable to complete a traditional geoscience curriculum.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 144
From Virtual Globes to Geoblogs: Digital Innovations in Geoscience Research, Education, and Outreach
Oregon Convention Center: B117/118/119
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 19 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 384

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