Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Collaborative Field Research: Geology and Art in the White River Badlands

Event Name/Location

Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint GSA Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 20-22, 2011

Presentation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Having conducted investigations into Holocene landscape formation of Badlands National Park for over ten years, the Badlands Working Group of Slippery Rock University of PA has fostered field research and advanced scholarship for both faculty and undergraduates. More recently, the working group has expanded its educational and scientific mission to include artistic interpretations. Faculty and students from two departments: Art and Geography, Geology and the Environment work in the field gathering data, soil samples, images and impressions. The collaborative investigations of the new working group are cooperative, combining scientific understanding of Badlands landscape processes with captured artistic impressions. Activities synthesize interdisciplinary skills and knowledge. Art and science merge: lines of inquiry are shared by members of both departments. Daily pedagogical approaches for studying each discipline will include: collaboration, inquiry, critical analysis, group discussion, problem-solving, group and individualized instruction, plus hands-on experiences. The use of peer mentors, where veteran students return to offer guidance to novice investigators, is valuable to success throughout the research, but particularly key in the field with its many challenges. Students and faculty maintain sketchbooks and field notebooks. Advanced scholarship derived from the expedition culminates in results presented at conferences, symposia and/or group, solo & juried exhibitions. With the Badlands Working Group, we aim to integrate both art and science, allowing both joint and individual research to inform scientific and creative work.


© Copyright 2011 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.

Additional Comments

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 43, No. 1, p.139

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