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GEES Small Scale Project Google Earth and Sustainable Development Education: examples from human and physical geography Friday 9 th July 2010 University.

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Presentation on theme: "GEES Small Scale Project Google Earth and Sustainable Development Education: examples from human and physical geography Friday 9 th July 2010 University."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEES Small Scale Project Google Earth and Sustainable Development Education: examples from human and physical geography Friday 9 th July 2010 University of Plymouth Project Team: Simon Haslett, CELT, University of Wales, Newport Rebecca Schaaf, Andrew Skellern School of Science, Society and Management, Bath Spa University

2 Project context HEA-GEES funded project Collaboration between University of Wales, Newport, and Bath Spa University. Project aims: 1.provide an overview of current use of Google Earth in sustainable development education, 2.highlight existing cases of best practice, 3.develop a new blended learning example(s) and monitor student engagement, 4.make recommendations for embedding in diverse curricula, and 5.suggest further developments for its future use.

3 Methodology Uses of GE for different levels and topics 1 st year: development geography 3 rd year: climate change 2 nd and 3 rd year: disaster response Questionnaire survey to students –BSU and University of Wales –77 responses –Quantitative and qualitative information –Topics: prior use, ease and enjoyment of use, enhancement of skills and knowledge, value of specific features, future value of GE

4 Development Geography Project: To use the Internet and Google Earth to devise a project on a development geography topic –Self-directed learning, with support available Aim: develop understanding of distant places and identify development issues: –Flooding and other natural disasters –Overcrowding, infrastructure and housing issues –Soil and water quality –Deforestation and desertification –Urbanization/rurality

5 Development Geography Positive response from students –Ease and value of use: being able to see real images from places, easy to zoom in and find information –Improved skills and enhanced understanding of places and topics: it gave a clear indication of how isolated the place was, image of built up area in China – showed clearly overpopulation, showed limited infrastructure…roads and houses were of poor quality I see that Google Earth is a useful tool to help and support studies and gain awareness of a[n] area or place before you visit or conduct research

6 Development Geography Value of Google Earth: Raising awareness of and interest in distant places Highlights potential development issues Raises questions for further study Enables more applied learning

7 Climate Change GE3012 Climate and Environment Honours Level 20 credit team taught module Delivered 1 hour lecture + 2 hour prac, plus one field day One semester of 12 weeks Assessed by essay and exam (50% each) Develop 2 week climate change and sustainable development lab prac to support exam topic i.e. integrating (palaeo)climate change and SD

8 Climate Change Exercise brief This practical aims to explore the links between palaeoclimate research, present climate change impacts, and related sustainable development issues. In this practical you will examine a proxy (geochemical) palaeoclimate record collected from an Ocean Drilling Program core (ODP site 658) taken in the eastern tropical Atlantic, offshore Cap Blanc (Mauritania, western North Africa). This will be followed by a consideration of modern climate change impacts in the region and the associated sustainable development issues.

9 Linking research and teaching On Minerva [Blackboard], you are provided with an Excel table of geochemical data from Haslett and Davies (2006). Plot the Aluminium (Al) data against time and smooth with a 3-point moving average … If Al deposition at this site represents dust transported by aeolian processes offshore from the Sahara/Sahel: 1.Interpret the sequence. 2.Identify any major palaeoclimate cycles/events present or absent (i.e. Heinrick Events, LGM, Bond Cycles, Dansgaard-Oeschger Events) 3.Is there any relationship between palaeoclimate and dust input? 4.What is the implication of this palaeoclimate research for understanding modern climate change impacts?

10 Climate Change Using Google Earth: Briefly fly over the modern landscape of Mauritania. For Nouakchott, examine the eastern margin of the urban environment, and: Describe the condition of the urban-desert margin. Interpret the current dynamic status of the urban-desert margin. Is there a link between the modern landscape and climate change? Is there any evidence that measures have been deployed to enhance the sustainable development of the area?

11 Link sustainable development actions to geomorphology? Climate Change Further details on The Sands of Time, 2009

12 Uses in climatology Initial investigation of other topics: –Hurricane tracking and mapping possible landfall –Input of synoptic charts and deriving wind speeds from mean sea level pressure fields –Analysis of jet stream position

13 Climate Change Number surveyed: 33 Yes %No% Have you ever used Google Earth before? 7327 If yes, have you ever used Google Earth in academic study before 2971 Do you find the basic functions of Google Earth easy to use? 973 Have you enjoyed using Google Earth in academic study? 973 Has it improved or increased your awareness of general geographical skills 946 Do you find it easier to visualise/interpret landscapes than using maps? 919 Do you feel Google Earth has enhanced your understanding of the topic studied in this session/exercise? 919 Do you think it will be useful in your own private academic study in the future 8218 Do you think Google Earth could be useful in academic research 7921 Do you feel Google Earth could support fieldwork? 946 Do you think Google Earth could replace fieldwork? 0100 Do you think Google Earth could be used in virtual fieldwork for students with mobility disabilities? 7624

14 Helping Haiti – real life applications World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) 12 January 2010 M7.0 earthquake. A global damage analysis network - the Global Earth Observation Catastrophe Assessment Network (GEO-CAN) Collapsed structures, Port Au prince

15 Helping Haiti

16 Participants represent 131 organizations 60 universities; 18 government and non-profit organizations; 53 private companies From 23 countries around the world. As of Feb 2010 has over 600 individuals and is still growing Provides real life experience of applications – will be built into modules for 2010/2011 Number or collapsed structures per 0.5km x 0.5km tile

17 Conclusion Using Google Earth for teaching aspects of sustainable development well received Perceived to be of use for individual research – dissertations – location/site maps Variety of future applications could be developed Value of use at range of levels and in a variety of tasks

18 Further information The Sands of Time: A Google Earth Approach to Climate Change Education, 2009 An eResearch Publication Online Climate change education through a blended learning Google Earth exercise. Simon K. Haslett, Andrew Skellern, Matthew Chilcott and David Longman in Haslett, S.K., France, D. and Gedye, S. (eds) (2010) Pedagogy of Climate Change. Higher Education Academy Google Earth

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