Teaching Geoscience 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. Field experiences aid students in applying knowledge they learn in class to the real world as well as help in developing skills in critical thinking, techniques, and instrument use. The role of field instruction in the geoscience curriculum must address new expectations for undergraduate students entering the job market while also overcoming contemporary logistical challenges.

Jump Down To: Field Skills and Habits of Mind | Developing Field Skills and Habits | Designing Field Experiences | Field Trip Descriptions and Resources | Events | Get Involved

The Place of Fieldwork in the Profession and the Curriculum

What role does fieldwork serve in the both the practice of geoscience professionals and the education of the next generation of geoscience students?
Geoscience educators need to understand the state of field education in the discipline now to be able to make the case for it's continued importance. This page synthesizes the available research on teaching and learning in the field across the discipline (based on Mogk and Goodwin, 2012 ).

Benefits of Field Work

What are the skills that field work helps geoscience students develop? How is fieldwork essential for instilling the habits of mind that are necessary to be successful in the geosciences?
This compilation lists out various benefits attributed to field work in the education literature including learning opportunities particular to the field, the value of fieldwork, and the attributes of geoscience expertise gained through fieldwork. This is also information on efforts to back up these claims with solid research evidence.

Developing Field Skills and Habits

Where and how do students develop the field skills and habits of mind that turn novices into experts? 
There are many ways of teaching field skills and habits to students in our programs. The pedagogical approaches and considerations presented here can help shape the experiences we design to expose our students to fieldwork in the geosciences.

Designing Field Experiences

This design tutorial leads educators through the process of planning out a field experience from start to finish. Starting from explicit learning outcomes desired, the authors use the principles of backward design to guide the design process. The tutorial served as the framework for a GSA shortcourse in 2012 and benefited from participant feedback and suggestions.

Field Trip Descriptions and Resources

Explore our collections of field trip descriptions to find one for your area or to get ideas for designing your own.


Get Involved

      Next Page »