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ERIC Number: EJ1163752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Undergraduates Discovering Folds in ''Flat'' Strata: An Unusual Undergraduate Geology Field Methods Course
Abolins, Mark
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n2 p264-277 May 2014
Undergraduates learned to measure, map, and interpret bedding plane attitudes during a semesterlong geology field methods course in a field area where strata dip less than 98. Despite the low dip of the strata, 2011 field course students discovered a half-kilometer-wide structural basin by using digital levels and Brunton pocket transits to measure bedding plane attitudes at numerous outcrops along a riparian greenway. Students reproduced faculty dip directions in all five structural domains and mean bedding plane attitudes in four of five structural domains (p < 0.05). Of 21 students who completed a field map, only 6 had trouble either measuring and plotting attitudes or drawing and labeling geologic contacts. The mean student evaluation score was 4.1 on a 5-point scale, and all seven evaluation category means were well within one standard deviation of departmental means. However, the course evaluated poorly relative to the other five junior- and senior-level geology courses taught during fall 2011 because mean evaluation scores for those courses ranged from 4.2 to 4.9. Results show that students can learn to measure, map, and interpret bedding plane attitudes in a field area where strata dip less than 10 degrees.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0431652; 0969571