In The Classroom

  • Virtual Field Mapping

    Crusta, a virtual globe that enables remote geologic mapping, and LiDAR Viewer, which supports visualization of LiDAR point clouds and extraction of orientation measurements, are used as teaching tools in upper division geology classes at UC Davis. Following a traditional field mapping exercise students revisit this same area virtually using ArcGIS, Crusta, and LiDAR Viewer. This virtual mapping exercise allowed the students to quickly explore the region surrounding the original field area and interpret the regional tectonic context by synthesizing their field observations with those made using the virtual analysis. Crusta and LiDAR viewer are both available for download. Used in UC Davis's GEL 101 and 101L, Structural Geology and Structural Geology Lab, enrollment approximately 35 students per year.
  • Structural Geology Concepts

    Students used the Augmented Reality Sandbox to interactively learn the structural geology concept known as the Rule of V's, which states that when dipping (angled) surfaces of geology such as sedimentary layers are incised by stream valleys, the map view will create a V in the direction of the dip. By first using Google Earth to investigate a location with exposed layers, then using a tool developed by this project to create sedimentary layers that the students uncover by building canyon-like structures in the sand, the students interactively learned how the layers are exposed on the surface.

These exercises were followed by field work to observe and make maps of geological structures. Used in UC Davis's GEL 101 and 101L, Structural Geology and Structural Geology Lab, enrollment approximately 35 students per year.