Paper No. 7-7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
R.E.V.E.A.L THE GEOSCIENCES: (RESEARCH EXPERIENCES AND VIRTUAL EXPLORATION FOR ACCELERATED LEARNING IN THE GEOSCIENCES)
Providing field experiences within introductory courses has been shown to aid in the recruitment and retention of geoscience students. However, field experiences can be expensive, time consuming, and risky. In addition, the location and economic status of our university makes it very difficult to take students on traditional field trips. This pilot study is designed to jumpstart a larger initiative to improve retention and recruitment of students within the geosciences at UNCP by providing mentored research opportunities for undergraduates. These undergraduates work with faculty mentors to develop a series of virtual field guides of the geology of the Southeastern United States (specifically North and South Carolina). Some of these guides are then used in introductory courses to increase critical thinking and spatial skills. The media for the virtual field guides are acquired through various types of sources such as video, Gigapan technologies, 3D models, and Google Earth/ArcGIS. In addition to virtual data the researchers are trying to increase student interaction and add more depth to the experiences by the students compiling a range of supplemental material (i.e. rock / hand samples, thin sections, photographs, GPS readings, rock orientations, and GPR transects) from the field sites that are incorporated with the multimedia.