Incorporating A Stronger Field Component in Your Curriculum
Yvette Kuiper and Geoff Feiss
What are some examples of departmental efforts in this area?
- Make it a requirement: incorporate course based field trips/exercises and a field course
- General public field trips
- Field trips for recruiting students
- Field trip as part of a freshman seminar (recruiting)
- Take your dean/provost or other administrators in the field
- Go to NEIGC and local field based conferences
What are benefits and positive outcomes?
- Community/team building
- Lower barrier between students and faculty
- No better way to learn geosciences than in the field
- Learn to argue on the outcrop (think critically)
- Eye-opening experience: learn to travel, camp, etc.
- Learn to make primary observations and base interpretations on them.
- Learn how to generate qualitative and quantitative data with a compass, hammer and handlens.
- Students learn how to formulate working hypotheses and test them.
What are challenges and barriers?
- time for faculty; don't get credit for the time commitments
- time for students; limiting factor, athletes, other commitments
- facilities (vehicles, camping gear, etc)
What are some ideas for making this work better?
- charge students a fee
- make logictics part of the trip; make it fun, get students to cook, get a new tire etc.
- On student field trips make student volunteer groups to help before, during, or after the trip
- get staff or students or geoclub to do logistics
- don't go to all new places each year
- pair up with other universities
- join consortia
- Have a screensaver with field pictures run in lower level/non-majors classes.
- Have a display case with field pictures (also good for recruitment)
- Community-building games; e.g. give identities to vans (community building effort)
What resources regarding this topic would you want to see on the website?
- pdfs of field guides
- field exercises