Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


GROSS, Amy L. and ROUSE, Linwood Jesse, University of North Carolina Pembroke, Geology & Geography, PO Box 1510, Pembroke, NC 28372,

I have been teaching Earth Science at the college level for over eight years. Several of my students are Education majors, preparing to teach Middle School and/or High School Science. I have searched for one all inclusive map of plate boundaries, only to find no such map. While Geoscience educators can easily find the major plate boundaries by going to the USGS website, they may not have access to the journals where they would find mention of smaller plate boundaries. I decided to create a map of all plate boundaries, including microplates and diffuse boundaries. After a semester of researching every plate boundary mentioned in Geoscience literature, I produced such a map using ESRI ArcMAP.

The next logical step was to create an interactive map. The user can click on an icon associated with each boundary, and a dialog box opens up offering information such as: what type of boundary is it, which plates or microplates are involved, and a reference to where more information may be found. I plan to make the finished product available to Geoscience teachers, as easily as lesson plan ideas are shared on the web.

Motivation behind this project was twofold. My favorite subject to teach in Earth Science class is Plate Tectonics. Students are often amazed at how many lithospheric plates comprise Earth's surface. Unable to find such a map, creating one seemed like the only thing to do. Additionally, having sat in on grad level classes (Master of Arts Teaching) for science teachers, I have been amazed at how little Geoscience education they have. For example, students in Science Ed working on masters degrees, including in-service teachers, who do not understand where volcanism does and does not occur. Teachers have precious little time for creating lesson plans as it is. If they are creating a lesson plan on plate boundaries, and are unsure of the location and/or type of boundary in an area, they may not even know where to begin finding such information. Perhaps they could project the interactive map on a classroom Smartboard, and have students tap on icons to learn something new.