Paper No. 188-4
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM
R.E.V.E.A.L THE GEOSCIENCES (RESEARCH EXPERIENCES AND VIRTUAL EXPLORATION FOR ACTIVE LEARNING) BY DISCOVERING THE LATE PLEISTOCENE LAKE BONNEVILLE, UT
The geosciences are inherently a field and lab-based science; however, COVID-19 and other financial, logistical, or physical barriers has caused the instruction of courses that once had field and lab components to move to the online realm. In addition, the field and lab components of these courses are often barriers for students who are limited in time and/or for students who have physical/mental disabilities. Our institution also does not have the personnel or fiscal resources to take many of our introductory students into the field. However, providing field experiences as an undergraduate has been shown to aid in the recruitment and retention of geoscience students and in student understanding of complex concepts. Therefore, in order to remove these barriers to learning, provide more active learning opportunities, and to improve inclusion within our courses we are constructing a series of virtual geological field trips (VFTs) regarding the geology of Utah that can be used in our online, hybrid and face-to-face Earth Science courses. The R.E.V.E.A.L. the Geosciences (Research Experiences and Virtual Exploration for Active Learning) project is a collaborative mentorship with faculty and undergraduates from our Earth Science and Digital Media departments to produce these VFTs. As part of the project we are producing these VFTs within virtual and augmented reality and integrating Gigapans, 3D photography/video, drone imagery/video, 3D models of outcrops/hand-samples, with other geological data (i.e. thin sections, chemical data, stratigraphic sections, cross-sections, etc..). The initial phase of the project focuses on the creation of VFTs regarding the geological history of the Lake Bonneville by taking the user to many famous geological sites around the Bonneville Basin. The VFTs will provide engaging activities in our courses that can be used in a variety of course settings and introduce students to field areas that may be difficult for the students to physically visit. The VFTs will not only aid students in our future classes but will also provide students with both field and lab experience that they will need in their future careers.