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Spatial Thinking in the Geosciences

Spatial thinking is fundamental in the geosciences. From visualizing atmospheric, ocean, or mantle circulation patterns to navigating unfamiliar landscapes to constructing a cross-section through deformed rocks, geoscientists rely on spatial thinking to understand how the Earth works and to solve geological problems. An understanding of the cognitive processes associated with spatial thinking supports teaching and learning spatial thinking skills.

2012 Journal Club

Farallon Plate
Seismic tomography image showing the Farallon plate subducting beneath western North America.
Image by Karin Sigloch, University of Munich.

From January to May, 2012, the Spatial Thinking Journal Club met once a month to discuss readings from the geoscience and cognitive science literature. We explored the cognitive aspects of spatial thinking and their implications for geoscience education. Read the summary of our findings and our recommendations for research on spatial thinking in the geosciences.

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