Paper No. 39
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


RIEMERSMA, Peter E., Department of Geology, Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401 and WAMPLER, Peter J., Geology Department, Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401,

A photography contest was conducted in the geology department at Grand Valley State University to promote reflection of departmental field trips, highlight outstanding geologic features, raise awareness of department activities, and award exceptional photographers. Over 128 photographs were submitted in six categories that included; abstract images, geologic processes, Midwest geology, geologist at work, geologist at play, and best field trip photo. The contest was conducted on the web using Blackboard. Entries in each category were maintained within a separate blog and participants were able to use the voting feature to vote for their favorite two photos in each category. All students and faculty in the geology department were invited to participate and vote. We also invited administrators outside the department (i.e. deans) to view and judge entries. Over 400 votes were cast and prizes were awarded for first and second place.

The contest was beneficial in many ways. The contest motivated participants to search through and review their many photographs. The photographs also brought members of the department together as they reminisced about past trips and shared stories about their experiences. Furthermore, the contest was an opportunity to highlight the unique and valuable field experiences the department provides to outside faculty and administrators. In addition, the contest was a way to obtain engaging and high quality photographs that can be used in fund raising and recruitment. Photographs will also be used to advertise student activities on the geology web site and on student visitation days. A departmental calendar featuring the best photographs will be offered to alumni, departmental donors and the geology club. In the future, we hope to expand judging to include geology alumni and students in our general education classes. We are also interested in assessing other possible methods and software to conduct the contest.