GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 31-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


SHEFFIELD, Sarah L., School of Geosciences, The University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave, NES 207, Tampa, FL 33620, LAM, Adriane R., Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 N. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003 and BAUER, Jennifer E., Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Photographs have the power to make educational content immensely more compelling when introducing people to the geosciences, whether they are formal or informal learners. Photographs of incredible scenery, detailed rock formations, or minute details that might otherwise have gone unnoticed provide the opportunity for people to learn about the natural world without having to leave their homes.

Time Scavengers (, a blog created and curated by geoscientists, has a number of dynamic blog posts, explaining different facets of science (e.g., Field Excursions, Science Bytes, and Education & Outreach). Since its creation, Time Scavengers has published numerous educational posts that introduce the public to different types of geology they might see both near and far-whether it be the granite countertops they come across in a public bathroom, or signs of glacial geology in rocks . These posts are filled with photographs, detailing these geologic experiences.

The geosciences has remained increasingly lacking in diversity, including socio-economic diversity and a lack of participation from people who live in an area removed from easily accessible geology. One of the goals of Time Scavengers is to encourage those reading these posts that amazing geological finds can be made from wherever you are; it doesn’t always require a trip to a far-away destination. Google Analytics tracks user data such as what pages people view, duration of visit, what languages they speak, and where they are located. Additional data are collected through social media and allow us to examine the success of the posts through clicks, likes, and shares on both Twitter and Facebook. These data are then examined to consider how to best to continue communicating these complex topics with a variety of learners. Blogs that contain an abundance of images often accrue the most interactions on social media and in turn are displayed as peaks in the overall user data.