In the late 1980's, the Geology Department at Portland State University decided that the future lies in an applied geosciences program. This decision resulted in more hands-on experiences for students. The purpose of this equipment grant is to continue curricular evolution by providing equipment that enhances technology innovation in field programs and trains students with modern equipment. Through this project, the department is replacing obsolete surveying equipment. The new equipment supports current curriculum revisions for geology majors, especially field-based courses and laboratories, and provides additional learning options for nonmajors in the reform of General Education requirements, including training of pre-service teachers. The equipment supports coursework and undergraduate research wherever accurate field measurements are required. Specifically, the project involves the purchase of six Sokkia Total Stations to replace the 1950's (and earlier) plane-tables and alidades. This change is modernizing the field portions of the program and fostering additional major and nonmajor curricular options. Modern surveying equipment has an impact on the curriculum by providing for major revisions of the Field Methods and Anatomy of Landslides courses; revised labs in Applied Geophysics, Field Geophysics, Field Geology, and Engineering Geology; increased undergraduate major and nonmajor research opportunities; and support development of nonmajor undergraduate courses (Geology of the Oregon Country). The Geology of the Oregon Country course is of particular importance to pre-service teachers because it requires all students to develop field-based studies to test a hypothesis, and the use of this instrumentation is integral to the course requirements. Pre-service teachers also have the option to take the other courses listed above to fulfill their certification requirements. Use of this surveying equipment will make important contributions to the training of pre-service teachers by i ntroducing the appropriate use of a modern technology, and by allowing future teachers to participate in the design and implementation of field-based class projects. Strengths of the equipment-based program include the extension of a well-developed program of curriculum evolution in the Department of Geology; furthering of the curriculum not only in geology, but also in other departments (Civil Engineering and Environmental Studies); fostering of cooperation among students as they develop strategies to accomplish tasks requiring precise location and distance measurements; the easy adaptation of existing courses for instruction of methods for which the equipment is intended; and the promotion of collaborations between senior and junior faculty in projects involving undergraduate education. The Geology of the Oregon Country course, in particular,

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
David W. Mogk
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Portland State University
United States
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