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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > First Day of Class > First Day of Class Activity Examples > Virtual Field Trip
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Virtual Field Trip

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This material was originally created for On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Walter Barnhardt, University of North Carolina
Course: Coastal Sedimentary Environments
16 students
The next best thing to a field trip may well be a virtual field trip. You can keep students actively engaged - in either case - by having them make observations and discuss them in small groups.

The Activity

I take my class on a virtual field trip to the coast, from the glaciated coast of Maine to the barrier islands of North Carolina to the uplifted coast of California. This allows me to introduce many of the coastal environments that we will examine in the course, and emphasizes the wide variety of geologic settings that occur. Plus, it sets the stage for the real-world field trip that I always run in first 1-2 weeks of the semester.


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