GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 39-5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


FEIG, Anthony D., Department of Geography, Central Michigan University, CMU DOW 276, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, BENNETT-HUXTABLE, Timothy A., Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Los Angeles, CA 90036 and PETCOVIC, Heather L., Department of Geosciences and The Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University, 1903 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5241,

Artistic expression inspired by Earth science knowledge and practice can include several forms of comedic performance art. Examples include storytelling, satirical songs, sketch comedy and stand-up monologues. In many cases, comedic expression has origins in the spontaneous humor that takes place in classroom settings. In other cases, “geo-comedy” is created for consumption by practitioners, and is relevant to their professional lives. Three basic examples of comedic performance art are provided in this presentation. The first example is a vignette from an introductory-level lecture in historical geology. The purpose of this vignette is to hook students and keep them engaged in the lecture. Second, a parody of a geologically-themed cinematic blockbuster is performed. If aimed at students, this satire can be modified as an exercise in spotting geologic misconceptions or used by students to identify and define geoscientific vocabulary (and its appropriate uses). If aimed at practitioners, this satire can serve as a form of an “icebreaker,” or merely enjoyed on its own merits. The third performance is a geoscience themed standup comedy monologue, aimed primarily at practitioners.