Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


GAMACHE, Kevin R.1, GIARDINO, John R.2, VITEK, John D.2, SCHROEDER, Carolyn3 and GIARDINO, Mary F.4, (1)Water Management & Hydrologic Science Program, High Alpine and Arctic Research Program (HAARP), Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (2)Department of Geology & Geophysics, Water Management & Hydrological Science Program, and High Alpine & Arctic Research Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3115, (3)TAMU-CS Regional Collaborative, Center for Mathematics and Science Education, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, (4)Bryan, TX 77802,

For four years, we have conducted a summer field geology program, G-Camp for 5th-12th-grade science teachers. We have continually modified the route, exercises and techniques to offer the best field experience for these teachers. Our stops are aligned with the Texas science standards for Earth and space science, as well as biology, chemistry, physics, environmental systems, and aquatic science.

In 2012, we decided to use a digital data format. Each participant was provided with an iPad preloaded with various apps ranging from a digital Brunton compass to Google Earth®, and rock and mineral identification to soil classification. The idea of using iPads in the field occurred the previous year when we were pointing out a normal fault across a valley. A teacher asked, “Where is the fault? I don't see it.” It occurred to us to use the iPads to take a photograph in the field and point out the location and geometry of the fault on the screen of the iPad. Taking a photograph of an outcrop, structure or landform and then illustrating via a drawing app over the photograph is a unique way to ensure that the teachers are seeing correctly and understanding what is being explained.

The participants adapted quickly to using the iPads for collecting data, taking notes and pictures of geologic features in the field that they can take back to their classrooms. They also used the video to capture stream movement with sound. A 3D geologic map of the Ouray, CO, area allowed participants to find their locations in the section using the map on their iPads and GPS. This was a unique way of helping the teachers visualize the topographic location and spatial relationships of the formations relative to one another.

We used iBook Author® to author a book on principles of geology for teachers including basic information found in most introductory geology textbooks plus geologic write-ups of the various locations visited. iBook Author® facilitated the inclusion of video and live website links.

To facilitate sharing of digital information and providing connection to the web, we used a bus with a built in wifi system. Although the world is becoming more and more digitally connected many of the geologic sites we visit remain unconnected to the digital world.

The use of iPads has been an overall success in adding a digital dimension to learning geology in the field.