Monet Paper Published in Journal of Geoscience Education

Dr. Julie Monet and Dr. Todd Greene (CSU Chico Geology Department) have published a paper entitled "Using Google Earth and Satellite Imagery to Foster Place-Based Teaching in an Introductory Physical Geology Course" in the most recent issue of Journal of Geoscience Education. The paper examines methods of making learning more meaningful, by incorporating elements from the local and regional landscape into a semester long course project.

Students in an introductory physical geology course often have difficulty making connections between basic course topics and assembling key concepts (beyond textbook examples) to interpret how geologic processes shape the characteristics of the local and regional natural environment. As an approach to address these issues, Drs. Monet and Green designed and implemented a semester-long place-based group project, which used satellite imagery and Google Earth as a means to improve both students’ conceptual knowledge of geological concepts and their understanding of geological processes.

The project provided the underlying framework for both lecture and laboratory activities and was designed to reiterate and strengthen the connections across topics. Findings suggest that when given the opportunity and tools to develop a sense of place in the local and regional environment, students improve their conceptual knowledge and ability to apply critical thinking skills. Consequently, student learning becomes more meaningful and relevant to their everyday experiences.