In an earlier blog, Jesse Davenport (2011) described some of this experiences this summer while working on his Keck project in Montana. Jesse is still in SW Montana, although his official last day in the field is August 16. He should have plenty of great geology stories to tell from his time out here in Big Sky Country.
Speaking of Big Sky Country…
Earlier this month (August 8), I also came out to Montana State University to attend two On the Cutting Edge Workshops. The first workshop (August 8-11) was called “Using GIS and Remote Sensing to Teach Geoscience in the 21st Century”. This workshop has revolutionized the way that I will teach GIS in spring 2011, and it also has contributed to significant changes to other courses that I teach in the curriculum. I am so glad that I was able to participate with other faculty from all over the country who teach GIS and Remote Sensing courses.
The second workshop, which I am still participating in this week, is called “Teaching Geoscience in the Field in the 21st Century”. I love teaching in the field, so this workshop will help my activities each year with our I.S. program and with field camp. In fact, I gave a presentation on Wooster’s I.S. program twice to the audience of geologists, and it seemed to be well-received. There is definitely some commonality between capstone courses at various institutions, but there are some distinct differences, too. For example, no other school boasts of an I.S. Monday in which the Registrar dresses as a Tootsie Roll and the Dean dresses in the MacLeod tartan!!
In between each workshop, we spent a day in the field in which we were shown several different uses of technology in the field. I was able to play with (1) a tablet PC that ran GeoMapper software, (2) a toughbook that ran ArcMap, (3) a Trimble Juno that ran ArcPad, and (4) a GeoClino that allows simultaneous measurements of strike and dip (of bedding) and trend and plunge (of a lineation) within seconds!! The day was fantastic, because you typically do not get to try so many different digitial mapping technologies in one setting.