New approaches to geologic fieldwork for campus curricula

December 15, 2009

Boulder, CO, USA - Field experience is integral to the professional development of future geoscientists and is particularly important as it applies to student understanding of complex earth systems. However, many geoscience programs are dropping traditional geologic fieldwork from their curricula. The 26 chapters in this new volume from The Geological Society of America (GSA) seek to broaden participation in field instruction by showcasing diverse approaches to teaching in the field across the many geo-disciplines encompassed by GSA.

Field instruction is traditionally a core element of the geoscience curriculum, but the data supporting an apparent shift in curricular emphasis away from fieldwork are convincing, and the number of geoscience departments offering summer field courses has declined dramatically since 1995. As important as field experiences have been to geosciences education and the training of geoscientists, the current situation calls for discipline-wide reflection of the role of field experiences in the geoscience curriculum in light of practical and logistical challenges, evolution in employment opportunities for geoscientists, and changing emphases in geoscience programs.
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Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online bookstore, http://rock.geosociety.org/Bookstore/default.asp?&catID=9&pID=SPE461, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, gsaservice@geosociety.org.

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, jhammann@geosociety.org.

Field Geology Education: Historical Perspectives and Modern Approaches
Steven J. Whitmeyer, David W. Mogk, and Eric J. Pyle (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 461
SPE461, 356 p., $80.00, GSA Member price $56.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2461-4

Geological Society of America

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