Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM


FENNER-AUBIN, Wendy, Geology, Miami University-Hamilton, 1601 University Blvd, Hamilton, OH 45011 and KREKELER, Mark P.S., Department of Geology & Environmental Earth Science, Miami University-Hamilton, Hamilton, OH 45011,

The community of Hamilton, Ohio - a city of approximately 62,500, has been on the decline since the deindustrialization of the 1970’s and recent economic events and the down turn of the American economy have further weakened the labor market. The city has numerous environmental issues, having the first Super fund site, a short stack coal plant, and sensitive aquifer resources. Many of the underemployed residents of Hamilton lack education beyond the level of high school and are in need of new skill sets and education to acquire jobs. Geological skill sets are fundamental to many parts of the economy; however an educational gap exists in that these skills are not often taught in routine job training programs.

A variety of mapping exercises from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were evaluated for teaching underemployed adults basic geological skills for careers in a variety of fields. Examples being: landscaping, road construction, environmental surveying, environmental sampling, wetland delineation, and parks and recreation employment. These jobs are often new career directions and offer financial gain for the families involved.

Ten USGS exercises, found at ( were evaluated for efficacy, organization, explicit directions, length, technical level, reading level, continuity, and figure quality. Specific considerations of the population to be served include time and schedule availability, learning styles, and technical background. Exercises scored variably in these contexts. The most appropriate exercises for this population are “Information”, “Creating Maps from Aerial Photos”, and “Exploration”.

Improving education with these mapping exercises has the potential to create opportunities for adults and the children they support on many levels. Communities grow and thrive when adults are working at environmental jobs that sustain community development and advance the people lives that live there. The use of these mapping exercises may are likely to enhance the economic growth and stability for many families of Hamilton, Ohio.