North-Central Section - 49th Annual Meeting (19-20 May 2015)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


VYE, Erika C. and ROSE, William I., Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931,

As geoscientists, we have a fundamental responsibility to engage the public in educational programs that encourage curiosity and awareness of how Earth science influences our lives on a daily basis. Geoheritage programs offer avaluable approach with which to increase Earth science literacy among the general public. While the concept of geoheritage is emerging in the US, it has been developed and advancing for over a decade in Europe, Asia and Australia. Geoheritage refers to the abiotic elements of natural diversity, both in situ and ex situ, that have educational, cultural, aesthetic and scientific value. The benefits of a geoheritage programs include increased public awareness of the Earth sciences, preservation and conservation of threatened geosites for future scientific research, and the creation of alternative economic development – geotourism.

Our efforts at promoting geoheritage in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale are rooted in an inclusive grassroots outreach strategy focused on education and interpretative programs of the local geology and cultural history. A long term aspiration is a Global Geopark designation for the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale.Geoparks are places with exemplary geology in tandem with a rich cultural story resultant of the landscape, and are operated as a grassroots partnership between local people and land managers. There are currently 111 Geoparks world-wide, none of which are located within the United States. Through our efforts we have connected with a growing community of colleagues, both nationally and internationally, who are working toward the advancement of geoheritage and geoconservation in the United States. This paper explores where the US currently fits into the global arena and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the evolving technical language that surrounds such concepts.

  • FINAL GSA Madison.pptx (8.4 MB)