Paper No. 330-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
DIGITAL TOOLS FOR CURATING LOCAL ROCK AND MINERAL SAMPLES
Local rocks and minerals can be invaluable teaching tools; however, as generations of students and faculty collect samples from a region, the resulting collection can become unwieldy and disorganized – ultimately rendering it unusable by future students. This has become especially true for the Bryn Mawr College Rock and Mineral Collection, which houses more than a hundred years’ worth of collected rock and mineral specimens, accompanying thin sections, descriptions, and paper maps detailing sampling locations in southeast Pennsylvania. This project seeks to turn this collection into a useful teaching and research tool by digitizing specimen locations and metadata using Google Earth, and pairing that information with an online database of specimens. As of July 2016, sixty-six maps and 2640 sample locations have been digitized. As the project continues, each place mark will include the sample’s original identification and description, as well as images of the specimen and/or thin section, if available. This map provides a visual tool to 1) assist observations of mineralogical and lithological trends, and 2) display how different samples relate spatially. In the classroom, this will enhance students’ spatial understanding of the rocks and minerals they study, as well as their awareness of their local geology.