Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
12.1-1 Communication geosciences and higher education teaching
Thursday, 23/Sept/2021:
9:00am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Malte Junge, Mineralogische Staatssammlung München (SNSB-MSM) / LMU München
Session Chair: Sylke Hlawatsch, RichardHallmann-Schule

Session Abstract

Geoscientific questions are increasingly relevant in our daily life. However, the public awareness of geoscientific topics is very limited. Therefore, it is important to inverse the visibility of geoscientific challenges and solutions in our society. Communicating geosciences to a broader audience implies the use of innovative strategies for public outreach. We have to encourage kids to become enthusiastic about geoscientific topics already in schools and leisure activities such as museums. Besides public outreach and school education, we also need to motivate geosciences students to address geoscientific challenges to the public. The current situation with the worldwide digital teaching atmosphere brings varies challenges but also opportunities in optimizing e-learning methods in the higher education teaching including digital field trips, microscopy inspire other digital lectures. The aim of this session is to discuss and report on existing and future initiatives as well as connecting people with similar motivation.

9:00am - 9:15am

Digital field methods in geoscience education and outreach

Gösta Hoffmann, Valeska Decker, Sabine Kummer, Edouard Grigowski, Rosalie Kunkel

Uni Bonn, Germany

The scientific discipline "geology" has relied on outcrops as the primary source of information since its beginnings. The initial equipment to analyse the rocks in these outcrops was simple: hammer, hand lens, compass, and diluted HCL. Topographic maps proved useful to find the location of the outcrop. Fieldbooks and material for sketching were – and are – used to document the findings. The documentation was further improved by cameras which became available for everyone in the second part of the 20th century. With the beginning of the 21st century handheld GPS systems became common and hence simplified the localisation. Soon thereafter, smartphones, with their integrated GPS and growing versatility due to a plethora of installable apps unified all the aforementioned analogue tools into one compact device.

In the second decade of the 21st century drone-technology became popular. These devices enabled an entirely different view on the outcrops. Structure-from-motion-techniques allow for uncomplicated construction of 3D models. Now, that access to mobile internet is given everywhere (except the Eifel), digital and virtual content can be created and accessed everywhere. The smartphone app OutcropWizard combines all the recent advances in technological development. The basic approach of OutcropWizard is to show and geological highlights worldwide and to enable everybody to contribute content to this project.

Even though a smartphone can fulfil most of the tasks, it still cannot replace a hammer. We suggest being loyal to our tradition and carry this piece of equipment as it has been done since the dawn of geology.

9:15am - 9:30am

Using Collaborative Augmented Reality to improve Communication of 3D Geological Concepts in Education

Björn Wieczoreck

GiGa infosystems GmbH, Germany

Introducing concepts of 3D geology to students can be difficult. While 2D geological maps and pictures are well supplemented by 3D animations and movies in presentation slides, for most students, a true hands on experience with 3D data is only possible in computing labs.

On the other hand, Augmented Reality (AR) is a rising technology that is very accessible by being available on popular handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. With the development of an app that allows for collaborative viewing of 3D geological models in AR, further concepts to improve education in geosciences have been explored.

With simpler and more direct access to 3D geomodels, students could browse through a catalog of models (e.g. different fault types) whenever they want to refresh their knowledge before the next exam. Teachers could guide larger audiences through a 3D model by highlighting individual parts while every member of the audience visualizes and explores the model on their own device. For smaller study or project groups, models can be discussed while being visualized in the same location and the same state in a shared AR session.

Although these concepts have not yet been applied in day to day education, they pose potential to greatly improve the accessibility of 3D geological data for students and offer ways to enrich the communication of teachers. The author is in contact with the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology to exchange ideas and hopefully apply them in practice soon.

9:30am - 10:00am
Session Keynote

3D Rocks, 3D Outcrops, and Virtual Field Trips

Sara Carena

Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany

Geoscience teaching has not kept up with technology. The ability to visualize objects in 3D is fundamental in geology, and yet we have hardly integrated any 3D tools in our courses, even though such tools have been available for years. Apart from occasional tests carried out by individuals, there has been no widespread effort to use the latest technology in the classroom and the field. Covid restrictions on travel thus simply accelerated a project we were already working on: the creation of a collection of 3D models of rocks and outcrops to be used as a training aid in the classroom. We expanded the original concept to include also a full 3D virtual environment for students to carry out field exercises.

We have created 3D models of hand samples from our rock collection, and 3D models of key outcrops at several field locations that we normally use in both Spain and Germany, using both hand held cameras and a small drone. Image processing to produce scaled and georeferenced models was done with Metashape Pro. We then used 3DVista Pro to produce immersive virtual field trips. This software allows linking our 3D models, which are stored on public platforms, with videos, photos, maps, text, and realistic sounds for each field scene. A training module in the form of quizzes and game-like features can be incorporated too. The reception from students has been positive, and we plan to keep using these tools extensively even after the covid crisis is over.

10:00am - 10:15am

GEOWiki@LMU – an online platform for university and school education in geosciences

Magdalena Luise Plitz1, Katrin Mühlberg1, Donja Aßbichler1, Laurin Lidl1, Malte Junge2, Eileen Eckmeier3

1LMU Munich, Germany; 2Mineralogical State Collection (SNSB-MSM), Germany; 3CAU Kiel, Germany

GEOWiki@LMU is a constantly growing open platform for the promotion of practical and research-oriented knowledge acquisition elaborated by and for students of earth sciences. The contents are developed by students in courses or on their own initiative in interdisciplinary teams. All topics are discussed in weekly editorial online-meetings and revised in close collaboration with lecturers.

One of the main goals is to provide information on methods relevant to geosciences. Focus is on field, preparation and analytical methods. GEOWiki@LMU offers students a quick overview with helpful practical hints, provides references to relevant literature and links to the courses at LMU where these methods are taught. In addition, there are online tutorials for students, e.g. polarization microscopy. In the so-called GExikOn, articles are currently being created on the topics of rocks, minerals and soils. In addition, the subsection GEOWiki@School is under construction. It deals with school education and can be used by students and teachers. All articles are interlinked with each other.

GEOWiki@LMU can be used flexibly and is constantly further developed. Outstanding is the own initiative of the students working in the GEOWiki-Team. They give decisive impulses for the selection and structure of the topics, write the articles and are involved in acquisition of funding. All graphics, icons and videos are created by students. In addition, the website is programmed by students: what doesn't fit is made to fit.

The content is optimized for mobile devices, so information can be accessed spontaneously in the field, laboratory or comfortably on the couch.