Immersive Tools for Field-Based Geoscience Education in Large Undergraduate Courses: Pacific Spirit Forest Augmented Reality field trip and Alpine Ecosystem Virtual Reality tours

TitleImmersive Tools for Field-Based Geoscience Education in Large Undergraduate Courses: Pacific Spirit Forest Augmented Reality field trip and Alpine Ecosystem Virtual Reality tours
Faculty/College/UnitArts
StatusActive
Duration3 Years
Initiation04/01/2019
Project Summary

Geoscience education is rooted in experiential, field-based learning. However, short class times, large student numbers, variable TA expertise and distance to field sites hinder outdoor education in large undergraduate courses. GEOB 102 Introduction to Climates and Ecosystems, for example, has just one field activity (a visit to nearby Pacific Spirit Forest), which must be delivered in multiple 50-minute sections by TAs with varying knowledge. Immersive technology can overcome these challenges by using Augmented Reality (AR) in actual field trips and 3D Virtual Reality (VR) for sites too remote to visit. This project will expand a self-guided, mobile app-assisted AR version of the existing Pacific Spirit Forest field trip and create a set of 3D virtual field trips to BC alpine ecosystems. Highlighting basic ecological concepts and human impacts, these tools will offer immersive, visually rich education about BC’s changing ecosystems suitable for use or emulation across undergraduate geoscience curricula.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year2019/2020
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorNina Hewitt
Year 1: Funded Amount17,036
Year 1: Team Members

Nina Hewitt, Instructor, Geography, Faculty of Arts
Brian Wilson, Curriculum Manager, Vantage College and Faculty of Arts / Staff Liaison, UBC Emerging Media Lab