Teaching Environmental Geology in the Field

Field experiences are a critical part of a geoscience student's education and have long been one of the foundations of geoscience education. Below, you will find links to presentations, posters, and teaching activities presented by participants at several workshops that speak to a variety of ways they have taught environmental geology through field work.

Jump Down To: Urban Environment | Pollution | Research Experiences | Field Guides and Databases

Urban Environment

Student research projects on urban wetlands (Acrobat (PDF) 6.9MB Mar9 08)
Solomon Isiorho, Indiana-Purdue University, Ft. Wayne
Urban Students, Urban Issues 2008

Urban Environmental Excursions: field trips focused on local environmental themes (Acrobat (PDF) 1.5MB Mar9 08)
Lawrence Lemke, Wayne State University
Urban Students, Urban Issues 2008

Developing an urban-focused environmental science curriculum (PowerPoint 241kB Mar9 08) 
William Montgomery, New Jersey City University
Urban Students, Urban Issues 2008

Environmental Service Learning and Community Partnerships: Applying Science-Based Solutions to Urban Environmental Problems
Kara Salazar, Indiana University-Purdue University
Using Field Observations and Experiences to Teach Geoscience 2004

The Lilly ARBOR Project: Promoting Science-Based Environmental Education and Outreach within an Urban Riparian Setting
Kara Salazar, Indiana University-Purdue University
Using Data to Teach Earth Processes 2003


Coal-fired Power Plants, Superfund Sites, and Residential Neighborhoods - Environmental Justice Field Trips: an experiential learning opportunity for undergraduates (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 3.2MB Jun3 12)
Katherine Bulinski, Bellarmine University
Teaching Environmental Geology 2012

Acid Mine Drainage Field-Lab Experience Round I (PowerPoint 4.6MB Jun14 05) 
Greg Druschel, University of Vermont
Teaching Geochemistry 2005

Student research projects on the impact of pharmaceuticals and personal care products on the environment (PowerPoint 2MB Mar9 08)
Syed Hasan, University of Missouri, Kansas City
Urban Students, Urban Issues 2008

Investigating Contaminant Transport and Environmental Justice Issues in a Local Watershed Through Service Learning Projects with Sierra Club (PowerPoint 1.3MB Feb3 10)
Jennifer Houghton, Rhodes College
Watch the Screencast (MP4 Video 109.9MB Jul31 17) / Teaching Service Learning 2010

Research Experiences

Top-Down and Bottom-Up: Investigating Perturbations to a Lake Ecosystem (Acrobat (PDF) 17.5MB Aug11 10)
Tara Curtin, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Teaching Geoscience in the Field 2010

Integrating student-led research in environmental geology into traditional field courses: a case study from James Madison University's field course in Ireland (PowerPoint 4.6MB Aug14 10)
Scott Eaton, Christine May, and Steve Whitmeyer, James Madison University
Teaching Geoscience in the Field 2010

An NSF-funded field research experience for minority undergrads at Storm Peak Laboratory (PowerPoint 7MB Mar9 08)
Gannet Hallar, Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada

Self-guided field trips in geoscience instruction (Acrobat (PDF) 87kB Mar9 08) 
Eryn Klosko, SUNY/Westchester Community College
Urban Students, Urban Issues 2008

Teaching Environmental Geochemistry as a Service-Learning Course (PowerPoint 687kB Jun14 05)
Tim Ku, Wesleyan University
Teaching Geochemistry 2005

Field Guides and Databases

The NAGT Field Trip Collection contains more than 50 field trips and examples. The examples in this collection share information about the design of the trips and their important characteristics in addition to providing easy access to field guides. In addition, you can find information for teaching in the field in these other collections:

  • Field Trip Safety: This page in the Cutting Edge Teaching in the Field module presents guidance and example policies and forms for addressing safety concerns when taking geoscience students into the field to learn.
  • The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database - The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database is a pilot project for making the field guide literature more accessible and useful to geoscience educators, students, and researchers. While the database is not an exhaustive listing of every published field guide, nor does it provide direct links to the full text of each reference (except for a few unpublished field guides which are reproduced as pdf files), the database is a fully-searchable listing of 50 of the best references for exploring the geology of this fascinating region.
  • NAGT's Far West Section Publications
  • Field Guides - Illustrated field guides for sites near Bozeman and Big Sky, MT.
  • Geologic Guidebooks of North America Database: This database from AGI and the Geoscience Information Society contains bibliographic references and location for published field guides.
  • The University of Texas at Austin has compiled a substantial e-library of field trip guides (more info) on their Walter Geology Library website.