Teach the Earth > Structural Geology > Teaching Activities > Campus Mapping Tour

Campus Mapping Tour

Helge Alsleben
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Oct 17, 2008


This exercise allows students to learn how to produce a geologic map. Students will pair up and explore campus as a "virtual" field area. This works well in areas where outcrop is generally sparse, but decorative rocks and building materials provide on campus "outcrops". The exercise needs to customized to ones individual, unique setting.

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Structural Geology (undergraduate geology majors)

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have basic rocks and mineral identification skills, basic understanding of geologic time scale, and know what geologic contacts they might encounter in the field.

How the activity is situated in the course

One of the first labs. Students are introduced to basic field skills. This prepares them for 2 weekend field trips taking later in the semester.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Learn basic field skills including reading maps, draw contacts on maps, make observations.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Exercise allows students to interpret basic structural map patterns and contact relationships.

Other skills goals for this activity

Use of geologic compass

Description of the activity/assignment

Reading and constructing geologic maps is one skill that every geologists has to master. Initially, this means that we have to understand the symbols that are used on geologic maps. Once we know the general meaning of these symbols, we will have to learn how to measure and plot them. The measuring is generally done using a magnetic compass. Finally, we have to plot the data on a map so that others understand the geology based on our mapping.

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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