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EARTH — Geology for everyone: Making the field accessible

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Alexandria, VA – The theme of inclusion in the geosciences is sweeping through the community, and geoscience instructors and field trip leaders are learning how to make accommodations to individuals with different barriers to being in the field. In the September issue, EARTH Magazine reports how in 2014, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, a couple of researchers put on the first fully accessible field trip, and it was a success!

Tactile versions of the regional geologic maps

The trip leaders created tactile versions of the regional geologic maps used on the trip with materials such as fabric, various grades of sandpaper and puff-paint to represent different features. Credit: International Association for Geoscience Diversity.

Following the Sea-to-Sky highway in British Columbia, faculty and students on the trip learned that “many barriers common in geoscience instruction can be overcome by focusing on students’ abilities, rather than on their inabilities or challenges, thus creating a rewarding community of learning for all students,” wrote authors Christopher Atchison of the University of Cincinnati and Brett Gilley of the University of British Columbia.

Explore a rewarding story about what it means to go into the field and how embracing inclusion can foster a rewarding experience for all, and learn tips for planning your own accessible field experience in EARTH Magazine: http://bit.ly/1Jg8YPV.

The September issue of EARTH Magazine is filled with unique stories on the study of the planet Earth, including: using fossils from Nova Scotia to start closing Romer’s Gap in the tetrapod fossil record, a new study looking at the role sea-level rise may play on atoll communities, and a visit down under to Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, and much more.