Paper No. 149-3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM
THE OCEAN ON TOP OF OUR MOUNTAIN: PLACE-BASED GEOSCIENCE OUTREACH IN SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA (Invited Presentation)
Geology tells the story of epic events in the history of that Earth that also happen also to be true: It is our understanding of what the Earth itself says of its history. Our science provides cogent explanations for phenomena that defy easy interpretation, such as the occurrence of marine fossils on top of mountains, including that known as Chungmalunga/Sagarmatha/Everest, but also myriad at lower elevations throughout the world. The natural processes involved in the elevation of marine rocks to form high mountains are both fantastic and delightful, and also easily communicable through visual narratives. Animation can transmit a potentially transformative perspective on Earth history to those without the privilege of the advanced education required to comprehend such understanding through the written word. Accordingly, The Ocean on Top of Our Mountain (TOTOM) is a multifaceted geoscience educational outreach program aimed at transmitting basic knowledge of how eastern Asia has been built geologically through the journey of a fossilized trilobite to the top of a high mountain. It builds on previous experience with monishar pathorer bon (Monisha and the Stone Forest) a children’s story in Bengali that provided a natural explanation for the petrified wood found in West Bengal and Bangladesh. For the India subcontinent we plan an animated series of TOTOM that will be available freely over the web, telling the story the subcontinent’s dramatic journey northwards towards collision with Asia through the vehicle of a trilobite collected at the summit and given to Nushrat, a village girl. Gutishuti, the trilobite, then takes Nushrat on a journey through space and time meeting that various former inhabitants of the subcontinent as it proceeds along its journey. A link to the “teaser” is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=221LFT4kYr4. In Myanmar TOTOM is working with the Myanmar Geosciences Society to produce a parallel Burmese version of the story set in in Padongaing village, south Shan State. There we are working on aspects of regional geology with NSF funding and as part of IGCP668 - Equatorial Gondwanan History and Early Palaeozoic Evolutionary Dynamics. The Burmese version will be a book illustrated by a visual artist from Bangladesh. Shan State is part of the ancient terrane of Sibumasu that collided with other parts of eastern Asia in the Triassic, bringing trilobites to the top of Mt Hsingmango in the Pindaya range, and so the same story can be adapted the two regions. We are grateful to our funders, including the Geological Society of America.