GIS/GPS Project Guide


1. You will present research findings using a combination of media forms to the rest of the class (research and format are described below).
2. You will apply GIS and GPS concepts learned in class.


Multimedia presentations are becoming increasingly popular due to their effectiveness in communicating information. Computer programs that incorporate video, audio, textual, graphic, animated, and other media forms are rapidly becoming mainstream in business, scientific, and educational applications. Research has shown that people acquire knowledge and information in a variety of modalities (eg. visually, auditorally, kinesthetically, etc.). In order to effectively communicate your research to your fellow classmates, you will design a project that uses more than one media form (i.e. video, slides, audio tape, text, posters, manipulatives, models, dramatic presentations, musical presentations, etc.). Remember, you are trying to: 1) learn new information; and 2) effectively communicate that information to others.


1. Project Ideas:
   A) pick a concept related to Physical Geology that you would like to learn more about
   B) choose a topic either:
     i) not covered in class
     ii) covered, but your group will research it in more detail

2. Past Topics:
   A) Land Use Change in Sonora
   B) Starthistle Invasion of Tuolumne County
   C) Geologic Sites in Tuolumne County
   D) Mapping Logging Sites in Calaveras County
   E) Crystal Mapping Along the Mother Lode
   F) Mapping Fire Hydrants
   G) Big Hill Roads Project
   H) Mapping Wind Surfing Locations in California
   I) Mapping Raptor Habitat in the Stanislaus National Forest
   J) Fossils and Geologic Dating Techniques
   K) Population and Dwindling Resources
   L) Historic Tsunamis Around the World
   M) Historic Volcanic Eruptions Around the World
   O) The Greenhouse Effect or The Ozone Hole
   P) Fossil Fuels and the Environment

These topics are intended to motivate you to generate your own ideas; you may choose one of those above, or a different one. Make sure the scope of your topic is manageable for the given time allotment.

3. Project Format:
   A) should have an Abstract (see rules for writing an Abstract below)
     i) a concise, informative summary/statement of conclusions reached
     ii) not more than 150 words
     iii) turned in to me at the beginning of the presentation
   B) should have two or more forms of the following media in the presentation:
     i) audio, video, slides, dramatic skit, models, musical presentation, etc.
   C) should have a list of references cited (listing each source of information used)
     i) any statement that is not general knowledge needs to be credited
     ii) do not just use encyclopedias and textbooks
     iii) use primary (scientific journals, interviews with researchers) and secondary sources (books and review articles that deal with a specific topic)
   D) should be professional (clear, audible, legible, neat, high quality, etc.)

4. Presentations:
   A) each presentation will be 8 to 10 minutes in length with time for questions afterward from the class
   B) each presentation will be evaluated by the members of the class on a standardized evaluation form to be provided

5. Groups:
   A) there will be 1 to 2 students per group
   B) responsibilities will be divided among group members
   C) the group grade will be determined from:
     i) peer review = 20% (from evaluations)
     ii) instructor input = 80%
   D) individual grades will be determined in the following manner:
     i) group grade = 100 points
     ii) individual grade = (group grade) X (# of students in group), then the group members split up these points as they decide appropriate (100 points maximum, 50 points minimum)

Example: 2 group members get 80/100 for their group grade. 2 X 80 = 160, so the group must decide how to divide up these 160 points amongst themselves (i.e. 80 points each, or 95 points for one member that put in the greatest effort and 65 points for the other member that did very little (if that's what happened), etc.).

The project is given in the calendar. Groups will sign up for presentation times. Evaluations will be due at the end of each class hour.

1. Research
   A) In the library there are a few books and technical publications on various topics in physical geology; check the catalog or ask a reference librarian for assistance.
   B) Within the community there are several consulting firms and governmental agencies that do environmental engineering, geotechnical work, hazards analyses, planning, etc. Call them up for ideas, resources, answers to questions, etc.
   C) Other students and faculty at Columbia College may be able to help guide your search
   D) I'll be able to provide a certain amount of support and guidance - use me as a resource

2. Materials
   A) Columbia College may be able to provide some demonstration materials on a check out basis, otherwise see me if you need support in this area.
   B) The College has a VCR, a slide projector, an overhead projector and possible access to a multimedia station.

Remember - the main goals are to:1) learn something new and to present it to others in the class; and 2) to work cooperatively and interdependently with your group members in an enjoyable, respectful, and polite manner. Pick something interesting and fun - and enjoy being creative with this project!