See more from this Session: Innovations In Soil Science Education: I
Monday, October 17, 2011: 10:30 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 206B, Concourse Level
The relationship between parent material and soil landscape development is difficult for both graduate and undergraduate students to grasp in a conventional classroom setting. Even when the instructor is using visual aids (photographs, graphs, maps), it is still difficult for students to visualize the interrelationship between parent material deposition and their corresponding landscapes. The ideal way to solve this is to take the students on extended field trips; however, field trips are expensive, have to be conducted during specific time periods, and can only handle a limited number of students. The objective of this project was to bring the field to the classroom via a virtual, web-based teaching tool illustrating soil parent material and associated landscape development. Deglaciation, currently taking place in the Canadian Rocky Mountains at a rapid rate, provides excellent examples of new landscape development processes along with their fresh, time zero, parent material depositions. On the other hand results of 10,000 years after deglaciation, are clearly visible on grasslands in the southern interior of British Columbia. To bring these two environments together, video footage was shot at both locations and edited into a series of short integrated video clips. Soil scientists, survey specialists, and geomorphologists provided live commentary. The web-based teaching tool consists of an open-access website merging video clips, sound recordings, text, and images. The main benefit of the virtual teaching tool is to allow students, at any time, to observe conditions under which future soil parent materials are deposited, and to witness the transformation of a barren, sedimentary landscape into a soil landscape. It also allows instructors to integrate the website material into their lectures at appropriate times. The tool can be used in various soil, agriculture, forestry, and natural resource management courses. Project planning, site selection criteria, and an interactive overview of the tool will be given during the presentation.