I am currently looking at two arguments regarding the inclusion of fieldwork in geoscience literacy courses.
- Since field studies are one of the major ways by which geoscience knowledge is constructed it is important to expose novices to how fieldwork works so they have some sense of where this knowledge comes from. Plus it gives them first-hand experience with at least some of the phenomena that they are looking at.
- With the refinement of remote sensing technology and an increasing emphasis on modeling and lab analysis, we are seeing more and more geoscientists that spend little or no time in the field. Consequently, it is an inefficient use of limited educational resources to engage novices in an activity that is becoming increasingly less important to the research community.
Are any of you are familiar with any statistics related to the time various types of geoscientists spend in the field vs. other activities such as modeling, lab analysis, administration? Any reflections or information on the other issues associated with this question would also be appreciated.
Frank D. Granshaw
Earth Science Instructor
Portland Community College