In The Classroom

Earthquake Visualizations

A three-part module using 3D visualizations of global earthquake data (locations and magnitudes) to teach introductory-level geology students about the processes that produce earthquakes, available from the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carlton College. This activity has been peer reviewed and selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection. Used in UC Davis’s GEL 17, Earthquakes and Other Earth Hazards, enrollment approximately 600 students per year.

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

Structural Geology ConceptsStudents 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.