We’ve mentioned before that we are using the Big Map of North American geology, hanging in Reed Hall, as a way to demonstrate various geological ideas. Since the map is covered by a sheet of plexiglass, we can mark it up with dry-erase markers with annotations to show where various features can be found on the map. This time, however, we changed it up a bit.
This lesson, we focused on the extent of glaciers from the last Ice Age. And what better way to represent a sheet of ice than a large sheet of white paper? We have also continued to record the locations of large earthquakes that have struck this year.
A large sheet of white paper was used to demonstrate the extent of glacial ice in the last Ice Age.
I took dry-erase marker to plexiglass today in order to do our first educational mark-up of the Big Map that I posted about a week ago. Our first topic? Tectonic plates! The boundaries of the North American, Pacific, Juan de Fuca, Nazca, Caribbean, South American, and Eurasian plates were all marked with blue marker, and each plate was labelled with its name. The final touch was to add some vectors (showing magnitude and direction!) to indicate relative plate motions. We’ll leave it up for a couple of weeks so people can come by and have another look at our world. After that, another topic will be in order! In the future, expect to see mark-ups for volcanoes, rivers, glaciers, & more! What would you like to see on it? Here’s a photo of the mark-up – not a great quality picture, but hopefully gets the point across!
Locations of tectonic plates marked in blue, as well as vectors showing relative motion.
A very large geologic map of North America & surrounding areas is being hung in the hallways of Reed Hall! This map is the 2005 Geologic Map of North America, published by the Geological Society of America. At about 6′x6′ wide & tall, it is large enough that a small class group can view and discuss it together. It is a thing of beauty! It will be used by geoscience faculty to aid in teaching about our Earth. A thin piece of plexiglass will be mounted over the top with a frame around the exterior. The plexiglass will allow faculty to use dry-erase markers to temporarily write and draw over the top of the map to highlight various geological themes, such as tectonic plates, volcanoes, earthquakes, glaciers, river drainage basins, and more! We hope that this will be a great resource for our students’ education.