EOS – Education and Outreach Sessions

EOS1.3 – Science in tomorrow's classroom

EGU2020-1560 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

More than 15 Years of Geoscience Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshops of the European Geoscience Union General Assembly

Eve Arnold, Friedrich Barnikel, Jean Luc Berenguer, Francesca Cifelli, Gordon Curry, Francesca Funiciello, Teresita Gravina, Chair Christopher King, Konstantinos Kourtidis, Carlo Laj, Stephen A. Macko, Helder Pereira, Annegret Schwarz, Phil Smith, and Herbert Summesberger

EGU2020-1564 | Displays | EOS1.3

BSc Applied Physics: A physics degree for students with non-standard qualifications

Alan Wood, Bill Neal, Nicolas Sawyer, and James Rawlings

EGU2020-2430 | Displays | EOS1.3

Earth2Class (E2C) Connecting research scientists with Teachers and Students

Michael Passow

EGU2020-2597 | Displays | EOS1.3

How do high school students teach geosciences to elementary students?

Carole Larose

EGU2020-2644 | Displays | EOS1.3

Space and life - A training course for teachers of Biology, Earth Sciences and Chemistry

Angela Colli, Edda De Rossi, and Maria Grazia Gobbi

EGU2020-2757 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Groundwaters, an educational network

Fabrice Mourau

EGU2020-3457 | Displays | EOS1.3

A new educational seismic network in the city of Barcelona

Jordi Diaz, Martin Schimmel, Mario Ruiz, and Ramon Carbonell

EGU2020-3474 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Geo Time Travel – An Explosive Adventure

Marina Porta, Andrea Mazzon, and Cristina Usardi

EGU2020-3679 | Displays | EOS1.3

Science and creativity

Flavia Bruno

EGU2020-3926 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Constructing an earthquake simulator

Maria Eleftheriou

EGU2020-3971 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Outdoor Education is Essential for Developing the Environmental Stewards of Tomorrow

Melinda Landry

EGU2020-4074 | Displays | EOS1.3

Environmental Education in Primary School

Panagiota Alexandra Fratti

EGU2020-4101 | Displays | EOS1.3

Geoscience education in a Nepali school

Kalpana pandey

EGU2020-4105 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Memories of the 1969 earthquake in the municipality of Lamego (Portugal): an interdisciplinary project of curriculum articulation

Gina P. Correia, Isabel Colim, Liliana Cabral, Rui Rodrigues, and Vítor Oliveira

EGU2020-4272 | Displays | EOS1.3

Design and implementation of climate and flood risks educational program in Mali, West Africa: A methodological approach

Djiby Sambou

EGU2020-4754 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Hands-on activities in climate education at school: three successful examples

Gunta Kalvane and Andis Kalvans

EGU2020-5779 | Displays | EOS1.3

The water cycle in nature is disturbed

Alexandra Bakou

EGU2020-5836 | Displays | EOS1.3

Physics is everywhere!

Doina Otilia Filep

EGU2020-5886 | Displays | EOS1.3

Working with light and shadows

donatella giordano

EGU2020-6049 | Displays | EOS1.3

Students discover the rocks and minerals that are behind the chemical elements of the Periodic Table.

Natassa Detsika

EGU2020-6070 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Realization and use of a digital portable Weather Station - An integrated example of technological applications of low cost and high quality professional hardware platforms for innovative laboratory teaching in the classroom

Pietro Crimi

EGU2020-6073 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Linguistically Science (Using EGU Planet Press to promote Science in a native language)

Michael Anthony Pope

EGU2020-6082 | Displays | EOS1.3

Effects of Training Teachers on the Topics Natural Resources and Natural Hazards on Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in Kaduna Metropolis

Zainab Muhammad Shuaibu, Binta Asabe Muhammad, and Gambo Muhammad Muazu

EGU2020-6109 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Encouraging students to love Science

Ioulia Tsioli

EGU2020-6146 | Displays | EOS1.3

Equations for climate change

Ioannis Angelis

EGU2020-6468 | Displays | EOS1.3

The more they enjoy it, the better they learn it !

Tuğba Bozdoğan

EGU2020-6763 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

The Story of Plate Tectonics: Engaging A level Geologists in the classroom.

Hafsa Garcia

EGU2020-7096 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Tell me what's underneath! Using a model to investigate core sampling methodology with secondary school students

Alessandra Borghini

EGU2020-7144 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Field Officers take on the Geoscience Education world

Giulia Realdon, Gina P. Correia, Xavier Juan, Ramanathan Baskar, Guillaume Coupechoux, Yamina Bourgeoini, and Chris King

EGU2020-7158 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Three years with “Insight Mars (NASA)” in class

Florence J Bigot-Cormier and Jean-Luc Berenguer

EGU2020-7765 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Developing Active Learners Based on Education for Sustainable Development

Shuji Nakamura

EGU2020-7981 | Displays | EOS1.3

Flash Floods - Preventable Wrath of Water

Nisha Sanga

EGU2020-8449 | Displays | EOS1.3

DIY Rocket Launcher

Norhailmi Abdul Mutalib

EGU2020-8453 | Displays | EOS1.3

IBSE approach to study climate change from 90 degrees

Elena Lugaro

EGU2020-9296 | Displays | EOS1.3

An Interplanetary Travel

Carme Hernàndez Romero

EGU2020-9377 | Displays | EOS1.3

Spreading Seismobox in Hellenic Schools

Fotios Danaskos

EGU2020-9442 | Displays | EOS1.3

English / Science in highschool « European » section class

Catherine Fradin

EGU2020-9537 | Displays | EOS1.3

Science Club Activities

Mukta Kulkarni

EGU2020-9676 | Displays | EOS1.3

Water and sustainability: improving the learning level through an integrated approach

Marina Riva and Giuliana Zega

EGU2020-10127 | Displays | EOS1.3

Water, Life and Geology

ines freyssinel

EGU2020-10300 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Teaching Climate Change with Experiments

Athina Ginoudi

EGU2020-10782 | Displays | EOS1.3

Practical work in middle school Geology: Sand analysis lab

Sílvia Ferreira

EGU2020-10872 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Collaboration project around United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with focus on climate change and human rights

Camilla Bredberg and Anna Bergqvist

EGU2020-10987 | Displays | EOS1.3

Visualize the change

Paola Giunta

EGU2020-10989 | Displays | EOS1.3

Culture and Release of Eastern Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Catharpin Creek, Prince William County, Virginia

Jacob Pilipski and Albert Smith

EGU2020-10998 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Geoscience Education with Models in Primary School

Mehmet Çekiç

EGU2020-11102 | Displays | EOS1.3

Strategies to raise interest for science in tomorrow´s students

Gustavo Aguirre Murúa

EGU2020-11219 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Virtual trip along the river Tiber

Augusta Marconi and Giovanna Mauro

EGU2020-11262 | Displays | EOS1.3

Take a photo, post it, alert it!

Mite Ristov

EGU2020-11274 | Displays | EOS1.3


Candan Kafalı and Bengü Bozlar

EGU2020-11330 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

The School in the Park. A purpose for our future: 0 km water.

Paola Paolessi

EGU2020-11526 | Displays | EOS1.3

solar system

Vasiliki Tsirogianni

EGU2020-11663 | Displays | EOS1.3

Pupil activities for teaching about water management

Adão Mendes and João Oliveira

EGU2020-11668 | Displays | EOS1.3

Geosciences Interdisciplinary Articulation in the schools, an example of project work

Manuela Pereira

EGU2020-11672 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Disaster prevention education through learning about past heavy rainfall and debris flow damage

Banshoya Shogo

EGU2020-11864 | Displays | EOS1.3

Challenging Escape from Climate Change: A learning Experience

Vasiliki Liapi

EGU2020-11921 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Learn to Teach: how hands-on activities can promote scientific learning across multiple levels of education

Isabel Afonso

EGU2020-12177 | Displays | EOS1.3

Traveling with Science

Sarah Cureton, Mel E. Nichols, and Cassandra Weathersbee

EGU2020-12827 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

The Arctic and Antarctica

Olivera Ilic

EGU2020-12859 | Displays | EOS1.3

The Global Warming By Using The Experimental Methods Within Project-Based Learning Approach

Gulperi Selcan Öncü

EGU2020-13318 | Displays | EOS1.3

Space education through classroom projects – Mission Mars

Indukumari Suresh

EGU2020-15652 | Displays | EOS1.3

New tools to improve geographical literacy in Hungary

Anett Kádár, Csaba Csíkos, Erzsébet Jász, Zsuzsanna M. Császár, Károly Teperics, Péter Szilassi, and Andrea Farsang

EGU2020-18198 | Displays | EOS1.3

Expo-Laboratory: a learning path based on direct experience and peer education

Claretta Christille and Susanna Occhipinti

EGU2020-19074 | Displays | EOS1.3

From “Liceu de Ponta Delgada” to “Antero de Quental Secondary School” (Past and Present)

José Rebuge

EGU2020-19975 | Displays | EOS1.3

Origami and space research: classroom activities

Natalija Budinski

EGU2020-20174 | Displays | EOS1.3 | Highlight

Sharing EGU Conferences with Colleagues

Alison Moran

EGU2020-21162 | Displays | EOS1.3

Distribution of schist villages according to water availability in a Portuguese mountain range

Cássia Mendes

EGU2020-22046 | Displays | EOS1.3

The History of the Earth in the hallways

Paloma Ramírez Vongrejova and María José Massé Rodríguez

EGU2020-22218 | Displays | EOS1.3

Strategies, methods and data supporting science teachers to deal with teaching climate change in secondary schools

Gérard Vidal, Carole Larose, Éric Le Jan, and Charles-Henri Eyraud

EGU2020-22310 | Displays | EOS1.3

A path to increasing Geological knowledge

Sonia Molina

EGU2020-22311 | Displays | EOS1.3

Go- Lab Initiative- Shaping the Future of Learning

Svetla Mavrodieva

EGU2020-22671 | Displays | EOS1.3

Looking back to the past and thinking of the future

Surendra Kumar Sharma

EOS2.1 – Teaching Structural Geology and Tectonics in the 21st Century

EGU2020-3746 | Displays | EOS2.1

Rock Around the University - transplanted rock exposures for on-campus geoscience field skills training

Gordon Curry, Tim Dempster, and Cristina Persano

Rock Around the University (RAU) is a teaching resource made up of 16 large (~2.5m) blocks of “local” Scottish rock which have been transplanted and orientated into carefully planned locations and elevations between the buildings of the University of Glasgow to look like natural exposures. RAU mimics a real-life fieldwork experience, on-campus, with the aim of enhancing the learning experience of undergraduate geoscience students. 

RAU allows progressive, reflective, and effective on-campus outdoor training of a wide-range of geological field skills and concepts, including: the description, analysis and measurements of rock features and structures; geological mapping; the use of structure contours to predict geological boundaries in terrains lacking abundant exposures; construction of cross-sections; and, the interpretation and reconstruction of 3D structure and geological history.  Students visit the RAU exposures both during timetabled supervised ‘lab’ sessions and in their own time, providing an authentic fieldwork experience in a controlled location where key geological skills can be developed at the optimal rate for individual students.  Being located on the campus means that there are no travel or expenses for students, fewer timetabling issues, and fewer general logistical complications and natural complexities than in remote fieldwork locations.  In addition, students benefit from receiving ‘instant’ on-site feedback from staff on the challenges, problems and pedagogic issues that they encounter.

RAU allows us to introduce rigorous field-based teaching at an early stage in geoscience courses and to stimulate and encourage reflective learning. Students locate, analyse and synthesise information in the field to provide effective solutions to problems and use RAU as a self-directed learning experience where they build confidence while working independently in a familiar environment. Hence the students reinforce their field skills before experiencing independent work in remote areas.  In effect RAU uses the campus as a sustainable geoscience teaching resource. 

Experiences with all levels of undergraduate students over the eight years since RAU was established at the University of Glasgow have demonstrated that this on-campus resource is an ideal complement to the traditional programme of fieldwork classes.  Students are much better prepared for their first major residential fieldwork having completed the RAU programme, and are much more confident in their field skills. RAU has allowed us to address more effectively the disconnect between laboratory and fieldwork skills, and remote fieldwork classes are now more focussed on the application, rather than the development, of field skills.  RAU has also had the effect of enhancing the awareness of geoscience among the entire University community, due to the presence of students carrying out fieldwork on campus. 

Rock around the University is also used in recruitment and outreach, and is open to schools, amateur geoscientists, and anyone interested in Earth history.  Printed leaflets are available and more information is available at .

How to cite: Curry, G., Dempster, T., and Persano, C.: Rock Around the University - transplanted rock exposures for on-campus geoscience field skills training , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3746,, 2020.

EGU2020-7048 | Displays | EOS2.1

Watch and Learn: Promoting Student Autonomy and Competence in the Field with Just-in-Time Knowledge Clips

João Trabucho Alexandre, Hans de Bresser, Andrea Cuesta Cano, and Yorick Veenma

The ultimate aim of field courses should be to enable students to work autonomously in the field. We should therefore organize learning activities during which students work autonomously in the field. Student- and problem-centered approaches to learning in the field afford students much autonomy, but unlike in the more traditional show-and-tell approach, independent projects have so far required that students spend a significant amount of time working in the field without access to supervision. Unless students are competent enough to experience proficiency and a feeling of controlling the quality of their own work, such autonomy is detrimental to student motivation.

Short knowledge clips that meet the immediate need of a student exactly when it arises are an interesting form of blended learning that promotes student autonomy and competence. Just-in-time knowledge clips can (a) provide further information and insights into a key question; (b) complement students’ background knowledge and help refresh their memory on important concepts; and/or (c) demonstrate techniques needed to acquire field data successfully. Knowledge clips, by their very nature, help students learn visual subjects, such as structural and sedimentary geology in the field.

Students no longer need to wait to get the contact time they need to move on with their work: they can watch (a knowledge clip) and learn just-in-time. Face-to-face time in the field with an instructor can then be used to achieve higher-order learning outcomes, focusing not on acquiring knowledge but on gaining insight and understanding.

How to cite: Trabucho Alexandre, J., de Bresser, H., Cuesta Cano, A., and Veenma, Y.: Watch and Learn: Promoting Student Autonomy and Competence in the Field with Just-in-Time Knowledge Clips, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7048,, 2020.

EGU2020-9992 | Displays | EOS2.1

On-Ramps to more effective teaching: Quick-start guides to strategies for actively engaging students in the classroom to improve learning

Barbara Tewksbury, Florian Fusseis, Phillip Resor, Jennifer Wenner, Kim Blisniuk, Cailey Condit, Anne Egger, Kyle Fredrick, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Sara Mana, Kendra Murray, Beth Pratt-Sitaula, Christine Regalla, and Carolyn Tewksbury-Christle

The landscape of college and university teaching in the geosciences has changed over the past 20 years.  Research has documented 1) that faculty in the U.S. now spend less time lecturing and more time actively engaging students in the classroom, and 2) that active engagement is more common in geoscience classrooms than it is in biology, chemistry, physics, or engineering. The web sites of Teach the Earth  and On the Cutting Edge have thousands of web pages of resources for geoscience faculty who want to more actively engage their students in the classroom. But what if you want to incorporate more active learning but aren’t sure where to start or how these techniques might work in your courses? Or what if you are looking for new approaches or fresh ideas to add to techniques that you already use?

On-Ramps are quick-start guides designed to bring you up to speed in effective strategies for engaging students more actively in the classroom. Each 2-page On-Ramp focuses on a particular teaching strategy, rather than on how to teach a particular topic. The current On-Ramps cover interactive lecture, brainstorming, concept sketches, jigsaws, discussions, quantitative skill-building, just-in-time approaches, case studies, and re-thinking course coverage and linearity. Each On-Ramp includes a simple example that illustrates the strategy, why the technique is valuable, implementation tips, additional examples and modifications, and links to activities, supporting research, and other resources. On-Ramps will be available at the poster and can also be downloaded as pdfs from

On-Ramps originated from the 2018 community vision report to US National Science Foundation on Challenges and Opportunities for Research in Tectonics, and their development was supported with a grant from NSF. The On-Ramps writing team is a group of geoscientists at a variety of career levels with specialties across the range of subdisciplines that regularly address tectonic problems. Although examples currently focus on the broad field of tectonics, On-Ramps can be easily adapted for courses in other geoscience disciplines at all levels.


How to cite: Tewksbury, B., Fusseis, F., Resor, P., Wenner, J., Blisniuk, K., Condit, C., Egger, A., Fredrick, K., Kirkpatrick, J., Mana, S., Murray, K., Pratt-Sitaula, B., Regalla, C., and Tewksbury-Christle, C.: On-Ramps to more effective teaching: Quick-start guides to strategies for actively engaging students in the classroom to improve learning, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9992,, 2020.

EGU2020-10254 | Displays | EOS2.1

Opportunities and challenges in Teaching Structural Geology and Tectonics

Florian Fusseis, Hans de Bresser, Bernhard Grasemann, Janos Urai, Kamil Ustaszewski, Anna Rogowitz, and Mark Anderson

In most university geosciences curricula, structural geology and tectonics (SGT) form a core part of teaching. While only a small percentage of Earth science graduates will become structural geologists, many will someday use structural concepts and techniques to solve problems in fields such as nuclear waste storage, the geology of growing urban environments,  geohazards, unconventional reservoirs, geothermal energy, CO2 sequestration, energy storage and more. A basic understanding of structural geology is thus part of a critical knowledge foundation in Earth sciences and many related disciplines. In addition, new tools and data are becoming available at a rapid pace, and enable more integrated, multi-dimensional assessments of the geosphere and our societal interfaces with it. All of this provides new opportunities and challenges for STG courses.

In April 2019, a pre-EGU two-day workshop (TeachSGT21) was organized during which strengths and weaknesses of, and threats to current SGT curricula were analyzed. Participants of the workshop covered 11 European and 2 overseas countries, and came from academia as well as industry. On the basis of the workshop, we now outline educational demands from industry and research and discuss the role and significance of field training. Further, we review initiatives that use innovative tools and techniques in teaching. While not claiming to represent all aspects of modern SGT teaching, we expect that our observations can stimulate reflection on degrees and approach and may help making choices in curriculum renewal.

How to cite: Fusseis, F., de Bresser, H., Grasemann, B., Urai, J., Ustaszewski, K., Rogowitz, A., and Anderson, M.: Opportunities and challenges in Teaching Structural Geology and Tectonics , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10254,, 2020.

EGU2020-12020 | Displays | EOS2.1 | Highlight

Updating the Augmented Reality Sandbox for Geophysics, Structural Geology and Stratigraphy

Jens Klump, Kenneth Muhumuza, Ulrich Engelke, and Neil Francis

One of the challenges for students of geosciences is learning to read geological maps, interpret structural geology, and understand the link between geology and geophysical properties. Augmented Reality (AR) sandboxes are interactive visualization tools that are becoming increasingly popular to demonstrate various earth processes. 

An AR sandbox consists of a box filled with white sand and uses a Kinect 3D camera to continuously scan the topography of the sand surface. The topographic view of the structures sculpted by the user is then blended with digital information and a computed image is projected back onto the sand surface. Due to their intuitive operation, AR Sandboxes serve as a powerful science outreach and communication tool by making abstract concepts easy to see through the leveraging of playful learning and visualization, offering huge potential for teaching geological and geophysical principles.

Several versions of AR Sandboxes have been developed for a whole range of scenarios, spanning a wide variety of Earth Science topics and learning environments. The most common scenarios are from physical geography, hydrology and ecology. Their underlying data models stay at or close to the surface, making it hard to incorporate geological models. 

Recently, an Open-AR-Sandbox software was published by researchers at the Institute for Computational Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering (CGRE), RWTH Aachen University, Germany. With this AR Sandbox, geological models can be projected onto real sand and the relations of subsurface structures, topography and outcrop can be explored in an AR environment. 

We tested the Open-AR-Sandbox software after successfully installing and running a conventional AR sandbox software. The combination of the Sandbox and GemPy geomodelling tool offers unique 3D interactive modelling solutions to explore geoscientific data and processes, with linkages to other software tools. We can use the AR sandbox to project a variety of geophysical measurement data onto the sand surface, offering an interactive experience that integrates geological and geophysical data. The Open-AR-Sandbox is, therefore, an innovative tool in geoscience education for the public as well as the classroom because of its benefits for teaching geological mapping, structural geology and geophysics.

How to cite: Klump, J., Muhumuza, K., Engelke, U., and Francis, N.: Updating the Augmented Reality Sandbox for Geophysics, Structural Geology and Stratigraphy, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12020,, 2020.

EGU2020-13208 | Displays | EOS2.1 | Highlight

Learning geology using VR: student feedbacks on the VirtuaField applications

Sophie Viseur, François Civet, Juliette Lamarche, Magali Rizza, Lucilla Benedetti, Jules Fleury, Laurent Jorda, Olivier Groussin, Jean Borgomano, and Philippe Léonide

Aix-Marseille University launched the VirtuaField project whose objective is to integrate DOMs into a VR application to provide students with a pedagogical tool enabling learning field practice.

Indeed, students have few occasions to train in the field during their academic curricula. Field trips are expensive and require a complex logistics. Nowadays, the photogrammetry or LIDAR techniques allow geoscientists to obtain High-Resolution 3D representations of outcrop geometries and textures, often termed as Digital Outcrop Models (DOM). DOMs are already used as pedagogical supports for practical exercises on computers such as fault throw or seismic occurrence calculation, or modelling 3D geological structures from outcrop interpretations. However, these exercises do not cover all required skills to gain autonomy and consistence in the field, such as the pertinent observation sampling. The computer engines are not convenient support for that task because the visualization, although in 3D, still depends on a 2D screen and does not preserve the 1:1 scale, which is of paramount importance for Geoscience interpretations.

The Virtual Reality (VR) technique is the ultimate way to provide a full 3D view, which can preserve the 1:1 scale, while benefiting from the numerical nature of the support (DOMs, DEM).

First prototypes were provided by the VR2Planets company from the case study of La Fare les Oliviers (SE France), which shows diffuse fractures and fracture corridors, in addition to sedimentological and geomorphological structures. The prototypes have been tested in training experiences with volunteer students. Surveys have been performed in order to obtain feedbacks from students on the ability of the VirtuaField application to gain field skills, but also on the more pertinent way to design the pedagogical tools. The synthesis of these feedbacks will be presented as well as a first outline of the pedagogical guidelines on using VR tools for educational purposes.

How to cite: Viseur, S., Civet, F., Lamarche, J., Rizza, M., Benedetti, L., Fleury, J., Jorda, L., Groussin, O., Borgomano, J., and Léonide, P.: Learning geology using VR: student feedbacks on the VirtuaField applications, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13208,, 2020.

The Structural Geology and Tectonics (SGT) course I teach at Utrecht University is a 3rd year bachelor’s degree course with typically 20–40 participants. The course consists of 4 hours of lectures and 4 hours of practical (labs) per week, for a total of 8 consecutive weeks. It is well known that conventional lectures do not form the most effective way of teaching students in terms of learning outcomes, but constraints on classroom availability and (financial) limitations on the number of hours a lecturer is allowed to spend on a course make that we still schedule classical lectures. Interactive lecturing is the way out.

In order to improve student learning during lectures, I actively engage students in the classroom by regularly interrupting my lectures by giving short class-exercises. This is certainly not a new idea, as for example shown by the quick start-up guides for interactive lectures presented at (NSF funded project). However, in my experience, class exercises are not widely used yet as a useful teaching strategy, which is a regrettable since it is easy to implement. 

I typically give two class exercises per lecture hour. They always have a well-defined aim and task, and take about 3–10 minutes each. The exercises bring back the attention of students, re-emphasize a topic that I’ve just talked about, and give the students a chance to directly apply a concept, equation or technique. The exercises may include a quick calculation, making a measurement, reading a graph, or interpreting a (seismic) section or rock (micro)structure. Discussion with the neighbours is encouraged and the answers are reviewed plenary. There is no formal assessment of individual answers.

Course evaluations show that students very much appreciate the interactive nature of the lectures induced by the class exercises. They feel engaged and later revisit the exercises in preparation for exams. Although hard to quantify, in my experience the exercises improve learning. In this presentation, I’ll show examples of the class exercises I designed, and will put forward the suggestion to come to a shared database of class exercises from which we all can easily draw.

How to cite: de Bresser, H.: Using class exercises to actively engage students in Structural Geology and Tectonics courses, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13691,, 2020.

EGU2020-18002 | Displays | EOS2.1

Pitfalls on the path to success… what did we learn after introducing tablets for digital mapping and field tectonic analyses into Nice’s Geology Master program?

Guillaume Duclaux, Carole Petit, Gueorgui Ratzov, Michel Corsini, Chrystele Verati, and Bruno Scalabrino

Structural geologists love their compass and cherish their maps and field book more than anything, don’t they? And they are absolutely right to do so! Now, technical evolutions and the increasing availability and use by geology professionals of digital devices for structural and geological mapping means that our teaching curriculum also has to evolve and engage in these new ways of doing geology. Nevertheless, introducing tablets as field tools in the curriculum has not been so easy… If we had received one euro every time we heard that our students need to learn how to measure geological structures with a compass and maintain a proper field book rather than use a tablet for geological mapping we would be rich! We heard complaints from colleagues because students were getting too excited about using tablets… We argue that the issue with digital mapping and the use of tablets as field tools does not lie in the tools themselves, but in the overall methodology that is simply not properly mastered by the students, and that introducing exciting new tools helps overcoming the lack of interest of some and better engage them in the field in general.

The Earth Sciences Department at the Université Côte d’Azur purchased a pool of 15 iPad-mini units (3G models, as only those are equipped with GPS) protected in water-resistant and dust-proof cases. Students are given the tablet along with a battery pack, so they can charge their devices in remote locations and keep using them for mapping for at least three days. We have used a range of free apps for mapping, depending on the objectives of the field campaigns. For brittle deformation and fault slip data analysis students have access to Rick Allmendinger’s free app: FaultKin. We have been using for digital mapping in various terrains, the free Field Move app developed by Petroleum Experts Limited. Data acquired in the field (including georeferenced pictures, structural measurements, units contacts, and faults traces) have been seamlessly imported in GIS tools like Google Earth or QGIS, and been used for generating maps and field reports. We made mistakes assuming that some mapping techniques were already understood, and we are trying to improve our teaching content both in the field and in class to better prepare our students in using digital technology. Finally, we want to emphasize that the tablets are not replacing but complementing traditional mapping techniques. After a year using these tablets we have had a great engagement from our Master students and aim to introduce these tools progressively as part of the undergraduate curriculum, still insuring that correct observations are done in the field and detailed descriptions are properly entered on the tablets.

How to cite: Duclaux, G., Petit, C., Ratzov, G., Corsini, M., Verati, C., and Scalabrino, B.: Pitfalls on the path to success… what did we learn after introducing tablets for digital mapping and field tectonic analyses into Nice’s Geology Master program?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18002,, 2020.

EGU2020-21111 | Displays | EOS2.1

Does having access to uncertainty information improve geologic interpretation? You tell us!

Cristina Wilson, Thomas Shipley, Randolph Williams, and Basil Tikoff

We are a collaborative group of geoscientists and psychologists seeking to understand the influence of uncertainty information on geologic interpretation. We have developed a five-fold ranking system for characterizing uncertainty in the internal features of an outcrop. From least well constrained to best constrained, these are, Permissive, Suggestive, Presumptive, Compelling, and Certain. In some sense, Permissive and Certain are end members, because there is no variability within these categories. In contrast, the middle three categories - Suggestive, Presumptive, Compelling – have a range of possible values. 

Permissive is the least certain form of evidence.  Permissive suggests that a particular idea or interpretation cannot be ruled out, but it is also not the only available solution.  Suggestive indicates that there is positive evidence for a particular interpretation, but that the evidence also allows the possibility for other interpretations.  Presumptive – defined as “presumed in the absence of further information“– indicates that an interpretation is “more likely right than wrong”. Compelling indicates that the evidence is strongly supportive of the interpretation.  That is, compelling evidence for an interpretation is based on a preponderance of positive evidence.   Finally, Certain indicates that there is a direct and resolvable link between the evidence and a particular interpretation.

Attaching uncertainty rankings to observational data has the potential to improve the sharing and combining of datasets within geoscience, and offers experts the opportunity to weight data (based on uncertainty) during geologic interpretation. At this poster, we are investigating how the availability of uncertainty rankings for strike and dip bedding measurements impacts the structural interpretation of folding rocks in Mecca Hills in Southern California. The geology of the Mecca Hills is often described as three distinct structural blocks (the platform, central, and basin blocks), all of which are highly exposed. The Central block is characterized by highly deformed stratigraphy of Palm Spring and underlying Miocene Mecca formations that define a series of en-echelon anticline/syncline pairs of varying frequency.

We invite expert geoscientists (who have completed at least a Master’s degree) to make structural interpretations of folds (e.g., hinge orientations). You will be provided drone imagery of anticline/syncline pairs, with strike and dip bedding measurements marked at different locations. Each measurement has a corresponding ranking of uncertainty in measurement quality. We will not collect any identifying information, but we will ask you to complete a brief demographic survey.

How to cite: Wilson, C., Shipley, T., Williams, R., and Tikoff, B.: Does having access to uncertainty information improve geologic interpretation? You tell us!, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21111,, 2020.

EOS3.1 – Geoscience educational research

EGU2020-1273 | Displays | EOS3.1

What do we gain from cruise-based teaching in marine science university education?

Angelika Renner and Ingrid Wiedmann

Scientific teaching cruises are a popular part of marine science courses in undergraduate and graduate education, but cruise time is under severe pressure due to financial and logistical constraints. In this study, we investigate the role of ship-based fieldwork in facilitating student learning in marine science education. In particular, we explore the contributions of different course components, such as lectures, seminars, and laboratory exercises, towards student learning in two undergraduate and one graduate course. Results from an online survey and interviews with students, teachers, and teaching assistants suggest that undergraduate students tend to learn most during the lectures and the cruise. Conversely, graduate students appear to learn most when conducting ship-based experiments and during the preparation of the cruise report. While the teaching cruise is probably a course component that is less focussed on transfer of knowledge in forms of facts and theories than e.g., lectures and seminars, they are effective for students to consolidate and to learn to apply their knowledge. In addition, the teaching cruise contributes considerably towards the development of practical and soft skills, such as group management and communication, which are highly valued by potential future employers. We therefore argue that teaching cruises provide a valuable teaching platform that goes beyond the mere dissemination of scientific content and train students in skills applicable to any future career.

How to cite: Renner, A. and Wiedmann, I.: What do we gain from cruise-based teaching in marine science university education?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1273,, 2020.

EGU2020-1636 | Displays | EOS3.1

Climate University: climate education collaboration within universities in Finland

Laura Riuttanen and Mikko Äijälä

Climate change and the sustainability crisis require urgent actions in all fields of the society. Recently in Finland, the nationwide Climate University project ( was established by the funding form the Ministry of Education and Culture to advance teaching of climate and sustainability topics in Finnish higher education. The Climate University network consists of 11 universities as well as universities of applied sciences all around Finland and includes collaborators from schools and the working life.

In the beginning of the project, a study of needs was conducted. We asked our collaborators about the needs of higher education in the time of climate crisis. The answers emphasized on multidisciplinarity, holistic understanding, data and statistics, science communication, including the private sector and markets, consumer perspective, as well as values and ethics.

Based on the study of needs, we will produce the following open access learning materials by the end of 2020: - Systems thinking in global challenges; - Introduction to sustainability in climate change; - Project course in private sector collaboration; for schools - High school level course on basics of climate change; Climate data and statistics - Statistical tools for analysing climate data; and Science communication in climate change.  

Open learning principles were already piloted in the project in 2016 ( and the courses (2-5 ECTS) are currently run in eight universities in Finland. We have also produced open online courses on the multidisciplinary topics of sustainability leadership ( and circular economy ( Collaboration and co-creation with multidisciplinary experts from all across the society has been highly fruitful, and we foresee Climate University has the potential to thoroughly reshape and re-create the Finnish climate education field.   

How to cite: Riuttanen, L. and Äijälä, M.: Climate University: climate education collaboration within universities in Finland, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1636,, 2020.

The teaching learning of Earth science, particularly the Italian schools, where the research has been developed in the last ten years, has highlighted a widespread lack of knowledge among students, which corresponds to a lack of sensitivity in the common thought towards geological and environmental issues, to its territory, moreover often characterized by widespread disruption phenomena and natural hazards.

 As a consequence, too often the culture of geosciences is understood as a culture of emergencies and not of prevention. It is a priority to promote a widespread culture of natural hazards, the knowledge of natural phenomena, the danger inherent in the geological evolution of the territory, the responsible use of the environment, the perception of phenomenon as part of the dynamics of the Earth. This research presents a path,  defined with disciplinary objectives and specific skills to be developed and monitored, with the aim  to contribute in spreading a greater awareness of the dangers derived from natural phenomena. The training of students must pass through more effective methodological and educational approaches, active teaching, inquiry and investigation, promoting competences and skills. Since it is experienced that the usual transmissive approach of this content is not proving effective, a PBL approach was experimented. The different steps are to raise awareness of the  territory in which one lives, through a geological and historical analysis of the context, the understanding of the natural and inevitable evolution of the territory, the speed and frequency with can occur, the surface that can be affected by different natural phenomena and the transformations into risks factors. Finally, awareness that their knowledge is the basis for preventing and vulnerable contexts is needed.

The research has highlighted the need of new and more effectives educational tools and paths, that has product a widespread awareness towards the need of a repertory of practical activities. These applied, investigative and hands-on activities have shown growth of skills and competences in the involved students. The double result of a greater awareness of environmental dynamics and risks and of greater skills, technical, such as knowing how recognize relationships, and of citizenship, seem to have been achieved.

The  experience has also discoved new needs: the development of a unique and more consistent  epistemology of the discipline,  that is capable of giving links and coherence to phenomena, materials and processes, closely interconnected, but too often not recognized as a disciplinary unicum.

How to cite: Occhipinti, S.: A problem-based learning approach to increase the awareness of students towards natural risks and hazards: a case analysis , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1881,, 2020.

EGU2020-2853 | Displays | EOS3.1

A case study on the efficiency of activity-based Geography teaching and learning

Péter Szilassi, Viktor Pál, László Szőllősy, Anett Kádár, and Andrea Farsang

Geography education has faced numerous problems in Hungary lately: students’ diminishing interest in Geography, lack of creative and engaging textbooks and educational materials, decreasing weekly lessons, and conservative teaching practices. The MTA-SZTE Research Group on Geography Teaching and Learning set out to change the current circumstances. Our research group aims at laying the foundations for the methodological renewal of Geography education by developing activity-based and problem-oriented educational tools and IT innovations.

One of our central goals is to develop and prepare worksheets for students which concentrate on the geographical characteristics, processes, and problems of some typical Hungarian landscape units as well as cities, and villages. The worksheets, which will be accompanied by a handbook for teachers, are intended to be used from Grade 8 to Grade 13 both in primary and secondary schools. Each worksheet focuses on individual study areas (typical landscapes or regions) and settlements. They all have the same size (4 pages per worksheet) and follow the same structural principles: a short and informative text on the study area, which is followed by activity-based exercises and projects, all of which make use of various challenging and creative exercises comprising of maps, charts, pictures, newspaper articles, blogs, games, and QR codes linking to additional interactive websites.

Our research group also developed the items and the interface of an online survey with which we measured the efficiency and the applicability of the worksheets with the help of volunteering students and teachers who agreed to test them in class. The worksheets were tested in the primary and secondary schools that are affiliated with the research group. The 114 students and 5 teachers who tested the worksheets had to fill in an online survey, and evaluate the worksheets on a 5-point agreement scale, where 1 was the worst and 5 was the best score.

Preliminary results show that the content suitability of the worksheets, with respect to the target age groups’ cognitive abilities, scored low (2.85 average points). The clarity of the subject requirements for the students has the lowest average score (2.75 points). These results can be explained with the main characteristic of the worksheets, i.e. problem-solving thinking. Activities based on problem-solving are very new methods for Hungarian Geography teachers, therefore the teaching goals of this worksheets are is not clear for them.

However, according to the teachers’ responses, the concept of student worksheets is very innovative and adaptable to the needs of the present education (4.65 points), and frees from racial, gender, ethnic, religious prejudice (4.9 points). The teachers also have very positive (4.65 points) opinion about the diversity of the illustrations (pictures, diagrams, graphs, schemas, maps, etc.).

According to the students, the worksheets are very useful for group- and pair-work (4.04 points). The types of questions and exercises are very diverse (4.16 point). Most of the students (57%) visited almost every additional websites of the worksheets with the QR codes.


How to cite: Szilassi, P., Pál, V., Szőllősy, L., Kádár, A., and Farsang, A.: A case study on the efficiency of activity-based Geography teaching and learning, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2853,, 2020.

In the Geopark, there is a need to foster an interest in the earth and a better understanding of geoscience for young people during educational programs. The ideal method would be to educate this in the classes, in schools to accomplish these goals, but the teachers are unfamiliar with the Geopark in Japan. Recently, some programs have been developed and presented by some teachers in all cities and towns in San’in Kaigan, UNESCO Global Geopark. The author surveyed the data in a real-life situation in educational practices and found some outcomes and subjects about the program. One distinctive outcome is the complete education at the elementary school level. Some subjects are enhancing middle-school level education and the evaluation of the program.

First, the author found good practices in some areas. All elementary school students study at the geo-sites, but junior high school students are presented with lesser opportunities. Second, there is a need for more efficient evaluation functions in the area because improvement methods for educational programs in Japan have not been developed.

There must be authentic educational programs and appropriate evaluation to promote the educational activities for students in the Geopark. In Japan, school teachers are responsible for curriculum design based on the course of study, which includes standard curriculum. They could request local specialists such as guides in the Geopark to teach the students. In such a case, the teachers must evaluate the learning results. However, they might not mark their students’ performances because they do not know the Geopark. Therefore, teacher training programs, focusing on the Geopark, must be promoted.

How to cite: Kawamura, N.: Results and subjects about compulsory school education in the Sanin Kaigan, UNESCO Global Geopark, Japan, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3784,, 2020.

EGU2020-8927 | Displays | EOS3.1

The Copernicus Young Ambassador Day: a replicable example for new technologies uptake by SMEs and Local Regional Authorities

Valeria Satriano, Roberto Colonna, Carolina Filizzola, Nicola Genzano, Teodosio Lacava, Nicola Pergola, and Valerio Tramutoli

Innovation process is a very slow process especially when local regional authorities (LRA) are involved. Such an issue is further amplified when new advanced technologies/data should take the place of traditional and well-established approaches. A full exploitation of data acquired by satellite sensors, as well as of the relative services developed, has been limited in the latest years by the lack of expertise on this topic, at different level, from the general public to the human resources working at LRA and SME’s premises. This circumstance indicate the clear need of academic institutions to develop different targeted curricula for different potential users (students/researchers, SME professionals, LRA managers, etc.) of Earth Observation (EO) data and GeoInformatic (GI) tools. In the framework of the EO4GEO and CopHub.AC EU projects, the University of Basilicata (UNIBAS) is experimenting new, ad-hoc, EO/GI curricula and training tools. Among the different initiatives carried out so far, the Copernicus Young Ambassador Day is a quite simple and easily replicable action that has received evident consents in the latest years. A short course on EO/GI is offered to interested representatives of SMEs and Local Regional Authorities who are invited to identify possible applications related to their specific field of interest. These “user needs” are offered to the students of the Remote Sensing course at UNIBAS in order to propose their own possible technological solutions based on EO/GI technologies. Such solutions are presented in a public session to the representatives of LRA, SMEs and, for a feasibility evaluation, to the UNIBAS researchers.  During this exercise SME and LRA personnel receive a basic education enabling them to better understand the potential of available and incoming EO technologies; students have the occasion to proof their acquired skill facing real problems.  In this paper, after a general description of the EO4GEO and CopHub.AC projects, a summary of the main achievements of several Copernicus Young Ambassador days will be presented and discussed.

How to cite: Satriano, V., Colonna, R., Filizzola, C., Genzano, N., Lacava, T., Pergola, N., and Tramutoli, V.: The Copernicus Young Ambassador Day: a replicable example for new technologies uptake by SMEs and Local Regional Authorities , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8927,, 2020.

EGU2020-9855 | Displays | EOS3.1

Earth observation videos in schools– enriching a school lesson on geographic zones with footage from the ISS

Clemens Kramm, Henryk Hodam, Carsten Jürgens, Claudia Lindner, Annette Ortwein, Johannes Schultz, Fabian Selg, and Andreas Rienow

„I want to remind the students that asked me the questions, that you are the future of science, technology and exploration. You have that flame. You teachers are fanning the flame, so it becomes a fire of curiosity and future exploration. We trust your generation to come up with the questions and the answers that we need to be better humans in the future.” – Luca Parmitano, Commander of the International Space Station (ISS)

Remote sensing and space travels have become a major tool for research and development in terms of scientific problems since the 1970’s. You don’t have to be an astronaut or pilot to get in touch with the many achievements, applications and scientific findings. Everyone and especially pupils are using them on a daily basis. Therefore, to deliberate the use of these technologies in school is crucial. The topic of remote sensing and space travels is quite complex and diverse, so many teachers are struggling to integrate them into their lessons. The main goal should be to support teachers by providing useful remote sensing school material and to encourage them to use these in their lessons. However teachers need the right science-based tools to fan “the flame, so it becomes a fire of curiosity”. To assist them in an effective manner it is necessary to adapt to their standard procedure of preparing a lesson: a fully developed teaching concept which includes not only the analysis of the topic itself but also the current curricula, the class, the didactics, the method and the material. Thereby it is possible to demonstrate how beneficial and well-grounded such a lesson can be.

The presentation addresses the question of how synergies of human space travels can be used to educate pupils and enhance the fascination of earth observation imagery in the light of problem-based learning in everyday school lessons. It will be shown which possibilities the topic of earth observation from space holds ready for teaching the regular curricula and how teachers can appropriately justify the appliance in their lessons. A comprehensive teaching concept example will be discussed, which matches german teaching standards and uses NASA’s High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) videos from the International Space Station (ISS) to enrich a secondary school geography lesson about the different geographic zones on earth.

How to cite: Kramm, C., Hodam, H., Jürgens, C., Lindner, C., Ortwein, A., Schultz, J., Selg, F., and Rienow, A.: Earth observation videos in schools– enriching a school lesson on geographic zones with footage from the ISS, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9855,, 2020.

In Japan, lower secondary school students study classification of igneous rocks related to geomorphology of volcanoes in science classes.
Most of junior high school science teachers are not good at teaching about this field. It might be due to their poor study experiences in earth science. They studied basic geology only in elementary and lower secondary school science classes because upper secondary school science curriculum have not been covered all fields of science. Consequently, many science teachers prefer to show photographs of rock samples to their students and are apt to avoid instruction of observing rock for identification. This may cause disadvantage for their students to construct the knowledge about plutonism and volcanism. 
To improve instructional methods of basic petrology of igneous rocks, one of us conducted teacher training courses for lower secondary school science teachers. The results and subjects are as follows;
Firstly, an instructor showed three volcanic rocks (rhyolite, andesite, basalt) and three plutonic rocks (granite, diorite, and gabbro) to the trainees with no label. The trainees tried to classify the samples into some groups based on any points of views and present the results to others. Through this activity, the trainees would be aware of many points to divide igneous rock into some groups.
Secondly, the trainees observed and divided the igneous rocks into two groups on the basis of those textures. After the grouping, the trainees found the differences of colors among the rocks, and arranged in order from the white one in each group.
Thirdly, the trainees identified these rocks by utilizing a rock chart and references. 
Finally, an instructor talked to the school teachers about relations between diversity and chemical components of magma. 
According to a post questionnaires survey, some teachers replied as follows, "I knew the difference between the stones." "I did not know the points, now I knew it." " I had gained more confidence in instruction." “I feel that I have improved my teaching skills about this field.” In short, some trainees could improve their knowledge of basic petrology and instructional skills. 
It is necessary to conduct training for teachers in order to prevent disadvantages to the students based on the teachers' experiences . 
 I think it is necessary to increase the number of teachers who improve instructional methods of earth science (experimental observation) by conducting training to improve the skills of many teachers.


How to cite: Arimichi, T. and Kawamura, N.: A case of the lower secondary science teacher training course for improving knowledge about classification of igneous rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10646,, 2020.

EGU2020-11310 | Displays | EOS3.1

It’s Our Future, Ask Us: Centring Children’s Voice In Geoscience Educational Research

Emer Emily Neenan and Joseph Roche

The world is facing a future of rising temperature, rising sea levels, and rising incidences of natural disasters. Key decisions in environmental, scientific, and educational policy taken now will determine what kind of world today’s schoolchildren will inherit when they come of age in an era of climate change. This paper reflects on the use of Children’s Research Advisory Groups (CRAGs) in geoscience educational research aimed at informing or influencing future policy. Building from the work of Lundy & McEvoy (2009) and Murphy et al. (2013), CRAGs are a method of including and centring children’s voice in geoscience educational research that will affect them. An ongoing mixed methods study of student engagement with and understanding of Earth Science in Irish secondary schools uses CRAGs to include the voices of school students. These CRAGs are convened in three representative schools in the study and comprise students representative in age and demographics of the participants of the study. The CRAGs are consulted at multiple stages, including before the pilot survey and after results are compiled, and their input guides key decisions within the project, including the language used in the survey, the format of the information provided to schools, and the conclusions drawn. This paper will discuss the benefits and challenges of incorporating children’s voices in research, particularly with regard to educational research and research aimed at impacting climate and environmental policies.

How to cite: Neenan, E. E. and Roche, J.: It’s Our Future, Ask Us: Centring Children’s Voice In Geoscience Educational Research, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11310,, 2020.

EGU2020-17896 | Displays | EOS3.1

Using the results of dangerous cryogenic processes investigations in student education

Valery Grebenets, Vasily Tolmanov, Vladimir Fedin, and Anton Sinitskiy

The department traditionally holds specialized practices of cryolithology and glaciology. Recently, specialized field course (sometimes international) have been concentrated in the Arctic region of Russia in the south of Yamal. The studies were focused on the investigation of the permafrost features in the regions, on assessing the permafrost dynamics and processes, affected by the various number of factors.

Here, the results of studies dedicated to the assessment of dangerous cryogenic processes impact on the infrastructure of the far north are widely introduced. Unique studies of the level of deformation of the infrastructure of the northern settlements are carried out during the establishment and development of an unfavorable geocryological situation.  Monitoring observations are carried out both in natural and in urbanized conditions,  allow us to compare the intensity of the processes, evaluate the contribution of technogenesis and climatic changes.

Based on the research results, students and researchers receive the necessary data and field results for analyzing the dynamics and changes in geotechnical systems in the context of an increase in the technogenic press and temperature increase in the region.

Investigation is supported by the RFBR project 18-05-60080 “Dangerous nival-glacial and cryogenic processes and their influence on infrastructure in the Arctic”


How to cite: Grebenets, V., Tolmanov, V., Fedin, V., and Sinitskiy, A.: Using the results of dangerous cryogenic processes investigations in student education, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17896,, 2020.

EGU2020-21716 | Displays | EOS3.1

Polar Educators International: A network of scientists and teachers that brings polar research into classrooms

Rainer Lehmann, Inga Beck, Julia Dooley, Maria Pia Casarini, Neelu Singh, Sophie Weeks, and Betsy Wilkening

Polar Educators International (PEI) is an outcome of the 4th International Polar Year. During this period (2001 – 2009) educators firstly were highly involved in a scientific initiative and a first bridge between scientists and educators was built. Since then PEI grew rapidly and nowadays has almost 200 members coming from all over the world.

The mission of PEI is to highlight and share the global relevance of the Polar Regions with the broader community. Therefore a vital network of educators and researchers are strongly cooperating together with relevant polar organizations such as IASC or SCAR. Thus PEI is able to provide up-to-date educational material for schools, workshop for teachers and many more. PEI Educators are bridging the gap between the scientists and community at large.

All information is available on a robust, flexible, and useful web presence.

PEI is a network that is open to everybody interested in outreach and education with a special focus on the Arctic, the Antarctic and Mountain Regions.

PEI is a common network where educators, scientists and general public can easily access the educative material especially focus on the Arctic, Antarctic and mountainous regions.  

How to cite: Lehmann, R., Beck, I., Dooley, J., Casarini, M. P., Singh, N., Weeks, S., and Wilkening, B.: Polar Educators International: A network of scientists and teachers that brings polar research into classrooms, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21716,, 2020.

EGU2020-22204 | Displays | EOS3.1

Which conceptions do college students hold about changes to earth and life on earth over time?

Dominik Conrad, Patricia Jaimes, and Julie Libarkin

Interdisciplinary learning is regarded as very important by many science educators (e.g. Hicks, Fitzsimmons, & Polunin, 2010; Begg et al., 2014). However, science education research is mostly focused within the discipline. This study provides a first step towards understanding students' conceptions of the co-evolution of earth systems and life on earth. First-year students (N=293) in the United States and Germany were asked about their conceptions of seven major evolutionary events in Earth’s history and changes to Earth`s size and continental positions over time through  open-ended surveys. The study adresses the following research questions: 1) What conceptions do students have about large-scale changes to Earth’s biology, the position of the continents, and the size of the Earth over long geological periods of time? 2) What relationships, if any, exist between student paradigms about absolute and relative times and their conceptions of changes (and underlying causes) that occur to life and the planet? 3) How do the conceptions differ between American and German students? The presentation will show the main results of the study. The results indicate the needs for interdisciplinary learning in schools.


Bishop, B.A. & Anerson, C.W. (1990). Student conception of natural selection and ist role in evolution. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27 (5), 415-427

Begg, M. D., Crumley, G., Fair, A. M., Martina, C. A., McCormack, W. T., Merchant, C., Umans, J. G. (2014). Approaches to preparing young scholars for careers in interdisciplinary team science. J Investig Med, 62(1), 14–25.

Conrad, D. (2015). Schülervorstellungen zur Plattentektonik. Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Interviewstudie mit Schülern der neunten Jahrgangsstufe [students` conceptions of plate tectonics. Results of a qualitative interview study with ninth grade students]. Zeitschrift für Geographiedidaktik, 43(3), 175-204.

Dolphin, G., & Benoit, W. (2016). Students’ mental model development during historically contextualized inquiry: how the ‘Tectonic Plate’ metaphor impeded the process. International Journal of Science Education, 38(2), 276–297.

Hicks, C. C., Fitzsimmons, C., & Polunin, N. V. C. (2010). Interdisciplinarity in the environmental sciences: Barriers and frontiers. Environmental Conservation, 37(4), 464–477.

How to cite: Conrad, D., Jaimes, P., and Libarkin, J.: Which conceptions do college students hold about changes to earth and life on earth over time?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22204,, 2020.

EOS4.2 – Games for Geoscience

EGU2020-4749 | Displays | EOS4.2

RockCheck the rocks – innovative pedagogical approaches for active learning about rock

Petra Žvab Rožič, Nina Valand, Helena Gabrijelčič Tomc, Jože Guna, Žiga Fon, and Rok Brajković

Application RockCheck (original version KamenCheck in Slovenian) was developed as an e-learning material, which can be used for teaching and learning geological contents in formal and non-formal education. Our aim was to create the teaching aid that will contribute to the improvement and quality of teaching and learning of basic geological contents within natural science subjects. It was created to be used in classrooms, as an additional motivation tool combined with active learning methods, and also in challenges for lessons in nature. Since the application uses the approach of experimental and observational based learning no pre-existing knowledge is needed, and users can determine names of typical rocks only by following the app's instructions.

The application consists of three main chapters  whose contents are interrelated. The main chapter presents the Rock key where through a simple decision key, by answering the question with yes or no, the user identifies the name of the individual rock. The application enables independent research by observing and experimenting with using simple tools. The other two chapters, Encyclopaedia and School of rock, help the user to enable further learning about rocks in general, about their appearance, formation and usage as well as help to understand geological concepts and procedures. The contents of the chapters are cautiously connected with the links. The last two chapters are a crucial support for planning and teaching the geological contents and present also the good base for preparing active learning challenges. All contents within the application were carefully designed and based on learning objectives of the Slovenian curriculum.

As an important project upgrade the interactive and experimental workshop was created which provides an insight to use the application as a learning aid. The workshop provides the examples and concepts of how the teachers through experiential learning can teach geology and thus increase the understanding and sustainability of knowledge. In order to actively involve the participants in the learning process, the workshop covers a variety of challenges that are addressed through different teaching methods. Besides, the special interactive learning sheets were created, which were designed with a specific goal and level. We also created a  board game called RockGame. It uses the RockCheck app for solving challenges and answering questions in the game. The main aim of the RockGame is to raise awareness about the topic of raw materials. Trough gamification pupils learn about geologist’s role in the raw material value chain. We did so by including the connection between minerals, rocks, raw mineral resources and final products in the game.

The application was made within the student project StoneKey (call "On the creative path to knowledge 2017-2020"). The project involved 9 students of different degrees and study programs, three teaching mentors and a working mentor from the company DigiEd. The project was co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Social Fund.  The application was later upgraded and translated within the EU project RM@Schools 3.0. funded by the European Institute of Innovation and technology.

How to cite: Žvab Rožič, P., Valand, N., Gabrijelčič Tomc, H., Guna, J., Fon, Ž., and Brajković, R.: RockCheck the rocks – innovative pedagogical approaches for active learning about rock , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4749,, 2020.

EGU2020-12516 | Displays | EOS4.2

Report on science classes and a workshop for teen students to learn geography and geology using Minecraft

Junko Iwahashi, Yoshiharu Nishioka, Daisaku Kawabata, Akinobu Ando, Shinsuke Okada, and Takahisa Shiraishi

In this presentation, we report science classes in which the purpose was to learn the history of local geology, and a workshop to learn the relationship between landforms and natural hazards using Minecraft. Minecraft (Mojang/Microsoft) is a sandbox computer game for exploration and crafting in 3-D virtual worlds. It is very popular among the young generation (100 million users in the world), and by using the game it is easy to construct virtual worlds and exploration mechanisms. The science classes were conducted twice for students aged 12 to 13 in a junior high school in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. Using Minecraft, we have constructed a virtual world tailored to their school, including the school buildings and paleoenvironments. In the game, students travel around the school buildings to learn and to solve basic knowledge questions based on references from their school science textbooks, then they go to the underground strata and into past worlds to learn and to solve advanced questions which refer to papers on regional geology. A questionnaire which was given to over 150 students after the first class showed that the students enjoyed the class and obtained a general understanding of geological knowledge. The second class was based on a reviced game after referring to the results of the questionnaire. In the workshop, we used a 3-D topographic model of Japanese flood plains and surrounding terraces and mountains. This example was conducted for 15 to 18-year-old students as a workshop with a small number of students, less than 10. At first, we explained to the students how landforms are associated with natural hazards such as flooding and earthquake shaking, and explained how to find and view thematic maps like hazard maps that could be observed as interactive web maps published by Japanese public agencies and institutes. Next, the students were asked where they wanted to build a house on the virtual terrain. Through their constructions, we considered the balance between playing and learning. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP18K18548.

How to cite: Iwahashi, J., Nishioka, Y., Kawabata, D., Ando, A., Okada, S., and Shiraishi, T.: Report on science classes and a workshop for teen students to learn geography and geology using Minecraft, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12516,, 2020.

EGU2020-4986 | Displays | EOS4.2

GEOTRIVIAL PURSUIT: discovering the earth planet

Valeria Misiti, Daniela Riposati, Francesca Di Laura, and Massimo Crescimbene

TheEarth is a fascinating place that host wonders such as volcanoes, rivers, deserts and more.Our idea has been that to produce a scientific game named GEOTrivial which is a tool to learn more about the amazing world of geosciences by enjoying.

Based on the enthusiasticfeedback obtained with “Escape Volcano” project (presented last year at the EGU 2019)and the success in the schools where we presented it, the next step encouraged us to develope a new project.

The graphic realization of all elements of the new GeoTrivial game (board, cards, dice) was developed within the INGV by the Laboratorio Grafica e Immagini.

Graphic is a fundamental support for the game production because every elements have been deeply studied creating icons similar to the social ones, to create a familiar connection for people. The use of a particular lettering, that strongly connoted the visual aspects, in the main components of the game, is dictated by the need to create a dominant visual element of the entire project that conveys a sense of dynamism, of freedom, but also lightness.

Basically the game revisit the classic trivial but on the game board volcanoes, epicenters and a drop of water are reported to direct immerse the players on the earth planet science. The game can be played as a team or single player (from 2 to 24 players).The game board is shaped like a 3-spoke wheel. Player begin at the center rolling the die. When the player reach the space then a different player draws the card and reads the question. The player move forward in any direction, but he can never retrace the steps on the same roll. Two player may occupy the same space. There are 4 answers on the card but only one is correct; the opponent team read the question and the answers. Player the land on the center square may choose the color he/they wish the question to be read from. He/they may not know the questions before choosing the color.

The player may continue to roll as long as he keep answering the questions correctly; there is no limit. If the answer is incorrect, then the turn passes to the left. “Roll again” spaces allow to move the die again without answering any questions.

Once the token is complete the player must try to land on the center space where the game started. The opponents decide the category you are to answer from before the look at the card. If the player/s answer the final question successfully he/they win the game.

This new game belongs to an editorial project dedicated by the INGV to education and outreach.


How to cite: Misiti, V., Riposati, D., Di Laura, F., and Crescimbene, M.: GEOTRIVIAL PURSUIT: discovering the earth planet, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4986,, 2020.

EGU2020-8968 | Displays | EOS4.2

Companion modelling and participatory simulation: A glimpse

David Crookall and Nicolas Becu

Title:  Companion modelling and participatory simulation: A glimpse

David Crookall (1) and Nicolas Becu (2)

(1) Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, France; (2) LIttoral ENvironnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), La Rochelle, France.

Simulation/games are ‘usually’ used to communicate science, such as in educational, environment or government organizations.  Another developing use is to help organizations to solve problems or make decisions.  Two successful and related simulation/gaming approaches, called companion modelling (ComMod) and participatory simulation (PS), have been developed over the last two decades, and constitute fairly elaborate decision-making aides and problem-solving tools.

Both approaches involve the full collaboration of stakeholders in the evolving development of a model and a simulation, in participating and in debriefing.  The underlying aim is usually to explore the relations among stakeholders (society) and between them and their environment.  For example, they have been used to help two communities in conflict over natural resources, to give authorities and inhabitants the opportunity to discuss and decide about coastal erosion and habitats or to help local authorities explore alternative coastal flood prevention measures.

They have also been used to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the same territory to discuss and analyse their varied visions, objectives and interactions.  Indeed, some forms of these tools can be used to help organizations, such local authorities and professional groups, to discuss ideas on possible futures, to explore scenarios for marine policy or for flood planning, to generate ideas for a new constitution or ministerial policy.

ComMod generally entails building a model of socio-ecological interactions (maybe computerized), which underlies participation in a large-scale role-play with stakeholders who have contributed to the design.  Often the design process takes several meetings (each of two to three days or more) over a period of several weeks or even months: this is both a strength and a weakness.  The model is usually developed with agent-based modelling (ABM) tools.  One such computer tool is ‘Common Pool Resources and Multi-Agent Systems’ (CORMAS), designed specifically as a support tool for ComMod; another is NetLogo.

PS overlaps to a large degree with, and is sometimes seen as an offshoot of, ComMod.  One main difference is that does not necessarily use ComMod (i.e., a model built with stakeholders and/or an ABM).  A PS in this sense tends to be easier to develop and implement because its design does not require as much toing and froing between stakeholders and facilitators.  A PS tends to capture emerging phenomena and trace developing relations in regard to social, industrial and territorial resources and demands on those resources; it can manifest a fairly powerful forecasting or future projection element.

Our session will provide a small glimpse of the rationale behind the two strands and illustrate several ways in which they have been used effectively.  We will also provide a resource list of references, associations and training opportunities.

How to cite: Crookall, D. and Becu, N.: Companion modelling and participatory simulation: A glimpse, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8968,, 2020.

EGU2020-9987 | Displays | EOS4.2

Resilience - Combining Sci-Art and card games for more effective public engagement

Kelly Stanford and Chris Skinner

Engaging the public with research and environmental issues can be challenging due to the complexity of the topics and pre-existing misconceptions. Independently, interdisciplinary approaches such as sci-art and games have shown some promise for engaging people with complex and unfamiliar issues. This raises the question: Can the two be paired together for the better?

This project aims to see if sci-art and card games can be used together as a more effective and enjoyable way to engage people with environmental issues, as well as inspiring interest in science more generally. It also seeks to find out if art can influence the retention of information when paired up with the card game format.

To test this, we designed a card game that uses varying levels and styles of art to engage people with issues around flooding and climate change. An open international invite has recruited a large number of participants to take part in the study. In the study, participants are given a random version of the game to play and afterwards, and asked to complete a short questionnaire related to the game’s topics. This is supported with targeted facilitated sessions at university campuses, outreach and public events across the UK.

The results will demonstrate whether combining sci-art and card games in combination improves on just using either on their own. These are expected to vary depending on a number of factors, including what version of the game was played, the demographic playing the game and the location.


How to cite: Stanford, K. and Skinner, C.: Resilience - Combining Sci-Art and card games for more effective public engagement, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9987,, 2020.

EGU2020-11420 | Displays | EOS4.2

Staudamm – a serious game on water reservoir management

Marc Vis, Ilja van Meerveld, and Jan Seibert

Serious games can be useful to teach students about real-world challenges. Here we present a first prototype of the online game 'Staudamm'. In this game, each player operates a multi-purpose water reservoir. The goal is to optimize revenues from the dam by balancing flood protection, electricity production, and irrigation-water supply, while fulfilling the minimal requirements for environmental flows. For flood protection, an almost empty reservoir would be optimal, whereas for electricity production and irrigation-water supply a fully filled reservoir would be preferable for at least at some time during the year. While there are some seasonal patterns in the inflows to the reservoir, balancing the different objectives is difficult, as one never exactly knows how much water will enter the reservoir. The game illustrates the difficulty in balancing multiple objectives, as well as the use of uncertain predictions in decision-making. In this poster presentation, we present the first prototype of the game and ask for suggestions for improvements and extensions.

How to cite: Vis, M., van Meerveld, I., and Seibert, J.: Staudamm – a serious game on water reservoir management, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11420,, 2020.

EGU2020-11849 | Displays | EOS4.2

Collaboration for gaming: Partnership between hydrologists, computer scientists, and educators to develop an educational geoscience game

Lisa Gallagher, Abram Farley, Sebastien Jourdain, Patrick O'Leary, Laura Condon, and Reed Maxwell

The Integrated Groundwater Modeling Center is a small research center with a focus on hydrological research and a mission to develop and promote education and outreach in our community. We believe that students of all ages learn better when learning is fun, social, and hands-on. We strive to develop games that will immerse and educate users in geoscience concepts by collaborating closely with computer scientists and software engineers. For the work presented here, we have partnered with the University of Arizona and Kitware, Inc., blending technologies and expertise to develop a game to teach hydrogeology concepts.

We have developed an interactive computer simulation of a physical teaching model for students. This computer simulation has a game-like web browser-based interface but builds upon open source software components developed by Kitware (e.g. ParaView and SimPut) executing the integrated hydrology model ParFlow, using a framework built upon the widely used Python scripting language. Students run the simulation using a familiar web-app like interface with sliders and buttons yet are learning real hydrologic concepts and can compare to the physical model. Here, we will present this interactive toolkit and the physical sand tank aquifer model on which it’s based.

How to cite: Gallagher, L., Farley, A., Jourdain, S., O'Leary, P., Condon, L., and Maxwell, R.: Collaboration for gaming: Partnership between hydrologists, computer scientists, and educators to develop an educational geoscience game, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11849,, 2020.

EGU2020-13234 | Displays | EOS4.2

DiG-DAG: Didactic Game for Divulgation of Understandable Geophysics

Giuliana D'Addezio, Valerio Lombardo, Stefania Conte, and Anna De Santis

Geophysics is the application of the laws and techniques of physics to disclose knowledge about the Earth’s dynamic processes and subsurface structure. It explores phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis to improve our understanding of the Earth’s physical processes. Effective mitigation of risks from catastrophic geophysics hazards requires knowledge and understanding of natural processes. Scientific divulgation deals with the communication of knowledge previously produced in scientific contexts to a non-expert massive audience.  One of the difficulties science divulgators need to overcome is to explain specific concepts, even complex, from a given discipline in a language simple and understandable, maintaining scientific correctness, and enhance skills, knowledge and competences of their interlocutors.

Considering that, nowadays, digital technologies play a large role in young people’s lives and games are directly connected to the life of adolescents, we realized an educational videogame to teach geophysics and Earth sciences to low and high-school students; an educational computer game, serious game, where electronic medium with all the characteristic of a gaming environment convey formative outcomes. The starting point is that technologies are systems of open possibilities that can be effectively integrated with innovative methods of education necessary to promote more effective, efficient, attractive and durable learning. In fact, the ardour and enthusiasm that digital games evoke in teenagers has brought many researchers, school leaders and teachers to the question “how video games” can be used to engage young people and support their learning.

A first stage of the project of Virtual Reality, "Journey inside the volcano", were presented at several scientific divulgative events, such as the ESA Living Planet Symposium, The National Geographic Festival delle Scienze, the September 29th INGV Open Day, involving more that a thousand users and receiving appreciation from the public. We present the serious game and the relate appreciation analysis based on guestbook comments compiled at the end of the experience. The comments reveal a great level of appreciation, involvements and emotions, and margins of improvement. The results foster us to improve the project developing other geophysical topics.

How to cite: D'Addezio, G., Lombardo, V., Conte, S., and De Santis, A.: DiG-DAG: Didactic Game for Divulgation of Understandable Geophysics , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13234,, 2020.

EOS4.3 – 3D toys in Earth Science: 3D-printing, AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) for outreach and pedagogy

EGU2020-5714 * | Displays | EOS4.3 | Highlight

Visualising large-scale geodynamic simulations: How to Dive into Earth's Mantle with Virtual Reality

Markus Wiedemann, Bernhard S.A. Schuberth, Lorenzo Colli, Hans-Peter Bunge, and Dieter Kranzlmüller

Precise knowledge of the forces acting at the base of tectonic plates is of fundamental importance, but models of mantle dynamics are still often qualitative in nature to date. One particular problem is that we cannot access the deep interior of our planet and can therefore not make direct in situ measurements of the relevant physical parameters. Fortunately, modern software and powerful high-performance computing infrastructures allow us to generate complex three-dimensional models of the time evolution of mantle flow through large-scale numerical simulations.

In this project, we aim at visualizing the resulting convective patterns that occur thousands of kilometres below our feet and to make them "accessible" using high-end virtual reality techniques.

Models with several hundred million grid cells are nowadays possible using the modern supercomputing facilities, such as those available at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre. These models provide quantitative estimates on the inaccessible parameters, such as buoyancy and temperature, as well as predictions of the associated gravity field and seismic wavefield that can be tested against Earth observations.

3-D visualizations of the computed physical parameters allow us to inspect the models such as if one were actually travelling down into the Earth. This way, convective processes that occur thousands of kilometres below our feet are virtually accessible by combining the simulations with high-end VR techniques.

The large data set used here poses severe challenges for real time visualization, because it cannot fit into graphics memory, while requiring rendering with strict deadlines. This raises the necessity to balance the amount of displayed data versus the time needed for rendering it.

As a solution, we introduce a rendering framework and describe our workflow that allows us to visualize this geoscientific dataset. Our example exceeds 16 TByte in size, which is beyond the capabilities of most visualization tools. To display this dataset in real-time, we reduce and declutter the dataset through isosurfacing and mesh optimization techniques.

Our rendering framework relies on multithreading and data decoupling mechanisms that allow to upload data to graphics memory while maintaining high frame rates. The final visualization application can be executed in a CAVE installation as well as on head mounted displays such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. The latter devices will allow for viewing our example on-site at the EGU conference.

How to cite: Wiedemann, M., Schuberth, B. S. A., Colli, L., Bunge, H.-P., and Kranzlmüller, D.: Visualising large-scale geodynamic simulations: How to Dive into Earth's Mantle with Virtual Reality, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5714,, 2020.

EGU2020-3515 * | Displays | EOS4.3 | Highlight

3D printing the world: developing geophysical teaching materials and outreach packages

Paula Koelemeijer, Jeff Winterbourne, Renaud Toussaint, and Christophe Zaroli

3D-printing techniques allow us to visualise geophysical concepts that are difficult to grasp, making them perfect for incorporation into teaching and outreach packages. Abstract models, often represented as 2D coloured maps, become more tactile when represented as 3D physical objects. In addition, new questions tend to be asked and different features noticed when handling such objects, while they also make outreach and education more inclusive to the visually impaired.

Some of our most effective models are simply exaggerated planetary topography in 3D, including Earth, Mars and the Moon. The resulting globes provide a powerful way to explain the importance of plate tectonics in shaping a planet and linking surface features to deeper dynamic processes. In addition, we have developed a simple method for portraying abstract global models by 3D printing globes of surface topography, representing the parameter of interest as additional, exaggerated long-wavelength topography. This workflow has been applied to models of dynamic topography, the geoid and seismic tomography. In analogy to Russian nesting dolls, the resulting “seismic matryoshkas” have multiple layers that can be removed by the audience to explore the structures present deep within our planet and learn about the ongoing dynamic processes.

While these 3D objects are easily printed on a cheap (<300 GBP, 400USD) desktop 3D-printer, the printing times still prohibit large-scale production. To ensure that there is sufficient material in a teaching setting, we have therefore also developed complementary paper equivalents. By projecting the coloured maps onto a dodecahedron, we developed cut-out-and-fold models to be handed out in a classroom setting to complement the 3D printed globes used for demonstration purposes. Together with animations, suggested questions and instructor “cheat-sheets”, these materials form a complete teaching and outreach package that is both interactive and inclusive.

How to cite: Koelemeijer, P., Winterbourne, J., Toussaint, R., and Zaroli, C.: 3D printing the world: developing geophysical teaching materials and outreach packages, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3515,, 2020.

EGU2020-11708 | Displays | EOS4.3

Inside blue dots - Grasping dynamic global fields thanks to Virtual Reality

Renaud Toussaint, Paula Koelemeijer, and Christophe Zaroli

Globe representation of the Earth has a long history in pedagogy and outreach. To help people realize global processes, these representations allow the conception and the manipulation of global fields and planetary geography. The realization of a physical representation of such global fields is demanding. 3D printing allows representing well scalar data at a fixed time, via for example the deformation of elevation maps. We propose here an alternative allowing to represent easily dynamic fields, and reproducing in a simple principle the effect obtained by the first astronauts visualizing planet Earth as a "pale blue dot". To that effect, we use virtual reality and represent mobile fields on a globe, associated with a physical object permitting spatial manipulation. The open software Unity, common in videogame conception and development, and the library Vuforia, allowing virtual reality, are utilized for the development. The fields represented are associated with the solid earth, and with oceanic and atmospheric dynamics: Seismic velocity fields, global seismicity catalogs, geoid, geothermal gradient, or oceanic and atmospheric currents. The software is can be easily deployed on tablets and phones, complementing printed images.

How to cite: Toussaint, R., Koelemeijer, P., and Zaroli, C.: Inside blue dots - Grasping dynamic global fields thanks to Virtual Reality, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11708,, 2020.

EGU2020-19131 | Displays | EOS4.3

Frictional anisotropy in casted seismic faults: or how to 3D print a fault to better characterize it

Alain Steyer, Tom Vincent-Dospital, and Renaud Toussaint

Anisotropic phenomena have long been studied in the vicinity of seismic faults. It has for instance been shown that both in situ pore fluids and seismic mechanical waves travel at different velocities along various directions of a fault zone. Yet, while more and more complexity and disorder in seismic models are introduced to better understand earthquakes, frictional anisotropy is only rarely regarded. In many other domains than geophysics, however, such anisotropy in solid friction is believed to be crucial. For instance, the tribology of rubber tires, skis or advanced adhesives is improved when those are designed to have a preferential frictional direction. But numerous natural systems also benefit from such anisotropy: is is notably essential in the motion of numerous animal skins and in the efficient hydration of some plants. In most cases, these frictional anisotropies derive from the existence of preferential topographic orientations on, at least, one of the contact surfaces, with scales for such structural directivity that can be multiple and various. Seismic faults also exhibit such preferential directions in their topography: unique rock crystals, such as antigorite, can already display some frictional anisotropy, fault zones are  initiated by early fractures that often propagates through layered sediments, generating ramp-flat morphology in their surfaces and, finally, mature faults are marked by grooves of various wavelengths due to the slip induced erosion.


In this work, we study how the morphology of faults affects their stability, as understood by their Coulomb static coefficient of friction. In particular we study its anisotropy with the slip direction. To do so, we make use of the 3D-printing technology and print actual fault surfaces, that were measured in the field. We perform friction experiments with gypsum casts of these 3D-printed faults, as mineral-like materials might deform differently under shear than plastic materials. With these experiments, we show that the friction coefficient along seismic faults is highly anisotropic, with slip motions that are easier in, but not limited to, the direction of the main grooves. This anisotropy could for instance be paramount to better predict the next direction of rupture along some faults under a varying stress state. In some cases, it could indeed not only be related to the orientation of the main regional stress, but also to the structural anisotropy, and  depending on stress and friction anisotropy, along which orientation a rupture criterion will first be exceeded.

How to cite: Steyer, A., Vincent-Dospital, T., and Toussaint, R.: Frictional anisotropy in casted seismic faults: or how to 3D print a fault to better characterize it, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19131,, 2020.

EGU2020-7069 * | Displays | EOS4.3 | Highlight

Teaching erosion and landscape evolution with an Augmented Reality Sandbox

Jordi Cortés, Daniel Garcia-Castellanos, Angel Valverde, and Samadrita Karmakar

Augmented-reality sandboxes are increasingly used for outreach purposes in many fields. Here we show the benefits of modifying a standard AR sandbox to significantly improve its teaching capability in Earth Science.

First prototypes of AR sandboxes date back to at least (Microsoft Fest conference in Prague), consisting of a Kinect card scanning the surface of the sand and producing a digital elevation model (DEM) of it in real time. This DEM is used to compute the flow of virtual water on the surface and produce an image combining the DEM and the water, which are projected back on the surface through a standard image projector, also in real time. In this way, water appears to flow on top of the actual sand topography, responding to any manipulation of the surface within a time lag shorter than 1s. The idea was popularized thanks to the open-source ARSandbox distribution published by Reed & Kreylos (2014). 

In our portable sARndbox device, we have modified the original GLSL (OpenGL Scripting Language) SARndbox code with the purpose of teaching experimentally how erosion and geodynamics interact during the development of Earth's topography and relief. Our version of the Fragment Shader file allows to visualize the areas of enhanced erosion and sedimentation driven by high and low water energy, respectively, to better communicate its role in shaping landscape. This is done by colour-shading water as a function of water flow energy, which is approximated as proportional to water depth and velocity at each location. The modified scripts and other info is available on GitHub ( 

The setting has proved useful in conveying basic principles of landscape evolution to students ranging from primary school to master level. We used this in combination with 3D prints of real tectonic plates and concept explanations, in sessions lasting typically between 30 and 60 minutes.


How to cite: Cortés, J., Garcia-Castellanos, D., Valverde, A., and Karmakar, S.: Teaching erosion and landscape evolution with an Augmented Reality Sandbox, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7069,, 2020.

EGU2020-8757 | Displays | EOS4.3

Using 3D printed models to help the understanding of geological maps

Dominique Frizon de Lamotte, Pascale Leturmy, Pauline Souloumiac, and Adrien Frizon de Lamotte

Geology is a scientific discipline where a 3D view is important - even essential. When starting to learn geology, as a first exercise students should be able to gain a 3D vision of geological maps, which like all maps are 2D objects, and interpret them. Many people have an objective difficulty in "seeing in 3D", that is, in achieving a mental representation of a dimension, which is not shown. To help them in this task, we propose a wide range of objects, which anyone can use or make in line with an educational approach that combines digital creation and object manipulation. In fact, our computer-designed prototypes are saved in a format from which they can be printed in 3D. Three types of objects are presented:

(1) models, which help to see things in 3D and thus understand particular structures;

(2) models where the third dimension offers an approach to successive geometries (kinematics) during the formation of particular geological structures;

(3) models that provide the opportunity to move different parts relative to each other to generate structures like faults.

We venture that through using our models, and possibly creating other objects by themselves, students will be helped to find their way in this 3D world, which is often confusing at first sight. We will also present printed models of natural examples in different geological context. The target audience is students from first degree to Master's level, trainee teachers, secondary school science teachers and amateur or professional geologists. We also want to reach the growing network of ‘fablabs’, whether or not they are university-based.

How to cite: Frizon de Lamotte, D., Leturmy, P., Souloumiac, P., and Frizon de Lamotte, A.: Using 3D printed models to help the understanding of geological maps, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8757,, 2020.

Researchers often have to carefully select data for figures to best show their results for a static 2D format such as a conference poster or outreach handout. This can result in the scientific message being harder to understand or only part of the story being visualised. Augmented reality can help in improving the clarity of temporal data as well as the understanding of 3D structures which may be challenging to otherwise visualise.

A series of software packages may be used in order to take video files (MP4, AVI etc…) and 3D model files (OBJ, STL, PLY etc…) and pair them with a target image, detectable by a mobile app for Android or iOS. The Vuforia engine plug-in for Unity allows for target images to be imported for use with AR and paired with a 3D model or video in Unity. Manipulation of the AR element is achieved using the Lean-Touch asset in Unity, allowing for scaling, rotation and movement.

The incorporation of AR in science communication at a professional and public level creates a memorable interaction which is also enriched by greater  scientific clarity. The interactive element of AR, especially using Lean-Touch, makes it an appealing tool for the public and children which results in greater engagement with science. The ability to show more data such as full simulations or experiment time lapses rather than a select series of still images also makes this an appealing tool for researchers in a variety of fields including modellers, experimentalists and anyone using digital data.

How to cite: Payton, R. L.: Dynamic and Interactive Scientific Posters: Visualising 3D Models and Simulation Data Using AR, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19037,, 2020.

EGU2020-6114 | Displays | EOS4.3

Learning by Immersion: Developing Virtual reality Labs for Engineering Courses

Raluca Ilie, Eric Shaffer, Cynthia D’Angelo, Erhan Kudeki, Olivia Coiado, Lucas Wagner, and Marcia Pool

A solid understanding of electromagnetic theory is key to the education of electrical engineering students. However, concepts in electricity and magnetism (E&M) are notoriously challenging for students to learn, due to the difficulty in grasping abstract concepts such as the electric force as an invisible force that is acting at a distance, or how electromagnetic radiation is permeating and propagating in physical space. Building physical intuition to manipulate these abstractions requires means to visualize electromagnetism concepts in a three-dimensional space. This project involves the development of 3D visualizations of abstract E&M concepts in Virtual Reality (VR), in an immersive, exploratory, and engaging environment, with the potential to be adopted by Engineering, Science, Mathematics and Medical college curricula across the country.

VR provides a disruptive platform for teaching and learning, in a realistic and most importantly, interactive three-dimensional environment. There are many advantages for using VR as a teaching tool, as it has the potential of addressing many challenges traditional teaching usually faces, and can lead to increased student engagement while removing some of the anxiety student experience while in active learning environments. Virtual Reality provides the means of exploration, to construct visuals and manipulable objects to represent knowledge, which in turns leads to a constructivist way of learning, in the sense that students are allowed to build their own knowledge from meaningful experiences.

The VR labs for E&M courses in the ECE department are generated by Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students enrolled in the “Virtual Reality" course at the same university, as part of the course term projects. This reflects the strong educational impact of this project, as it allows students to contribute to the educational experiences of their peers.  Student competencies around conceptual understanding of electromagnetism topics, as well as their understanding of mathematical concepts, are measured via formative and summative assessments. To evaluate the effectiveness of VR learning, each VR experience is followed by a short 10-minute multiple choice test, designed to primarily measure conceptual understanding of the various topics, rather than measuring the ability to simply manipulate equations, and will be tied to the specific contexts and topics of that lab's instruction.

This paper discusses the implementation and the pedagogy of the Virtual Reality laboratory experiences to visualize concepts in E&M, with examples for specific labs, as well as challenges, and student feedback with the new approach. We will also discuss the integration of the 3D visualizations into lab exercises and the design of the student assessment tools used to assess the knowledge gain when the VR technology is employed. In addition, we discuss the development of VR labs to visualize concepts pertaining to elements vector calculus, designed to enhance student understanding of the nature of operators such the gradient, curl and divergence, as well as the development of VR labs to visualize concepts pertaining to spatial geometry and coordinate transformations. 



How to cite: Ilie, R., Shaffer, E., D’Angelo, C., Kudeki, E., Coiado, O., Wagner, L., and Pool, M.: Learning by Immersion: Developing Virtual reality Labs for Engineering Courses, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6114,, 2020.

EGU2020-4777 | Displays | EOS4.3

Stories of Montanistika – experience through comics, AR and VR

Petra Žvab Rožič, Matevž Novak, Boštjan Rožič, Nace Pušnik, and Helena Gabrijelčič Tomc

The Montanistika building, which also houses the department of Geology of University of Ljubljana, is a remarkable object that is entered in the register of cultural heritage. The interior of the building (walls, floors and other elements) is adorned with numerous stone elements that emphasize its monumentality, and also carry important information about the extraction and use of natural stone in the past. From a geological point of view, the corridors and lobby of the building represent a special geological museum that provide the place for the education and combines natural and cultural heritage.

For decoration of the building interior local architectural stones (mostly Slovenian, partly Croatian) was used. The rocks used cover representatives of all three basic rock types (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks) which offers the opportunity to use these rocks also for the dissemination of geological contents to wider public.

The main objective of the research was to present the natural heritage to a wider audience in a narrative way using pictured dialogues, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). In addition to the implementation aspect of planning and designing a digital representation of natural heritage, the research also included the study process of graphic students, whose task was to optimally solve the digital presentation of the natural heritage with new media.

In the research three approaches were implemented with the task to digitally and interactively present the representative rocks in Montanistika building. The workflow of the research included the following creative steps: definition of digital strategy for natural heritage presentation, definition of content types and functionalities of interactive media, planning of information architecture and designing of wireframes, content creation (character design, 3D acquisition of the rocks, text and graphics creation), graphic design (layout, composition of elements), interaction and navigation design, developing of AR and VR applications, testing and optimization. 

In AR apps the rocks were interpreted and described through the stories using their main characters, such as fossils and minerals. By the stylized characters and based on the geological knowledge and facts the comics were drawn. Characters were included in animated, video and sound storytelling that augmented building’s walls, staircases and floors made of rocks. These approaches enabled the presentation of the main rock properties to the observer in a more attractive way. In VR app, 360 scenes and 360 video recordings of the rocks were included. Here, the detailed information about each rock is additionally presented in the info boxes and the navigation allows the participants to interactively move from one virtual room to another. Additionally, elements such as stickers, tabs, and overlays were added to make the materials even more interactive and of interest to a younger audience.

The results of the research present three approaches of digitalization of natural heritage that include different levels of presentative and/or interpretative principles. The results demonstrate that VR presentations and stylized animated interpretations of rocks are valuable communicative media for digital natural heritage that enable an immersive experience of geological content.

How to cite: Žvab Rožič, P., Novak, M., Rožič, B., Pušnik, N., and Gabrijelčič Tomc, H.: Stories of Montanistika – experience through comics, AR and VR, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4777,, 2020.

EOS4.4 – Science to Action: Communication of Science - Practice, Research and Reflection

The last decade had seen an emergence of a new more dynamic and inconsistent media ecosystem. Digital media (i.e. social media) are accused by many independent researchers and influential observers, to have played a significant role in spread of science misinformation. Wide-ranging discussions about so-called ‘post-truth’ or ‘fake news’ phenomena have significantly involved science-related topics such as vaccines, GMO’s, climate change or homeopathy.

The issue of credibility and reliability of information is therefore central for science communication and public understanding of science.

CONCISE (“Communication role on perception and beliefs of EU Citizens about Science”), an EU research project intends to understand the role of science communication in beliefs, perceptions and knowledge of science and technology issues among European citizens from five countries: Spain, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Slovakia.

This paper presents preliminary quantitative results from Italian public consultation analysis regarding preferred citizen´s information channels and sources of scientific information. We will explore data to understand how trust in science is built, how citizens form opinions about the science, which sources of information they use and how they think can science communication could be more effective.

How to cite: Rubin, A., Pellegrini, G., and Šottník, L.: Role of Science Communication in beliefs, perceptions and knowledge of science and technology issues among European citizens, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2943,, 2020.

EGU2020-977 | Displays | EOS4.4

Keeping Up the Momentum: Early Career Scientists in Policy-making and Community Science

Caitlyn Hall, Ethan Howley, Evvan Morton, Erin Murphy, Hannah Bercovici, Kevin Tindell, Griffin McCutcheon, Jean-Phillipe Solves, Liza Kurtz, Mitchell Phillips, Jessica Bersson, Miranda Bernard, Blake Dirks, and Nicholas Weller

To make an impact on science policy, a relationship between scientists, community leaders, and decision-makers cannot stop at one successful event – it must grow and evolve. The Arizona Science Policy Network aims to facilitate collaboration between early career scientists and decision-makers to draft science-informed policy. Beyond providing interactive and cross-disciplinary training and curriculum to scientists, we facilitate opportunities to practice in real situations, including speaking at town halls and public hearings, organizing public science science cafes and science days, writing policy memos and briefs, and advising on bills. In 2019, we successfully brought more than 60 early career scientists to the Arizona State Capitol to discuss drafts of the complex, multi-state Drought Contingency Plan with decision-makers. Since then, the state government has invited us to help draft sustainability- and climate change-focused legislation. We consider issues like climate change, water quality and availability, heat adaptation and mitigation, science education, ecological and social impacts of mining and industry, waste management, and emerging technologies. As we worked in impacted communities, we soon realized that we were missing the voices of community leaders in the conversation between scientists and policy-makers. In order to correct this, we hosted several science forums in breweries and cafes throughout Arizona. The science cafes initiated collaboration between policy-makers, scientists and community stakeholders, including Native American tribes. These meetings gave scientists, community members, and policy-makers a platform to discuss the environmental and socio-economic  impact of mining sites specific to each forum’s location. Early career scientists contributed their scientific expertise to explain how we can address region-specific problems. Community members also shared their knowledge of each unique area and context of the impact of current business and policy. Policy-makers brought their perspective on how science is used to enact change. From these efforts, we have fostered a more equitable and inclusive environment to ensure that all perspectives and knowledge are included in new bills and policies. Our program has provided a unique experience for scientists to further understand the broader impacts of science on communities and society. This presentation will reflect on the lessons learned in drafting policy with decision-makers and community leaders.

How to cite: Hall, C., Howley, E., Morton, E., Murphy, E., Bercovici, H., Tindell, K., McCutcheon, G., Solves, J.-P., Kurtz, L., Phillips, M., Bersson, J., Bernard, M., Dirks, B., and Weller, N.: Keeping Up the Momentum: Early Career Scientists in Policy-making and Community Science, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-977,, 2020.

Evaluation of drop-in engagement activities, particularly trying to demonstrate impact or change, is difficult given their transient nature and many logistical factors. Many typical evaluation techniques such as surveys are often unsuitable and current best practice recommends integrating evaluation methods into the activity itself. We present a novel implementation and analysis of an established evaluation method, which has the ability to demonstrate change even from a drop-in activity.

A space soundscapes exhibit saw young families taken on a journey experiencing the real sounds of near-Earth space recorded by satellites – normally inaudible to humans due to their weakness and extremely low pitch. Grafitti walls were placed at the start and end of this journey where participants were prompted by event staff to reflect on what they think space is like. Thematic analysis of the words and drawings from the two walls showed a change from obvious space-themed bodies and typical misconceptions of the lack of sound in space to much more reflective and reactionary results afterwards. Applying quantitative linguistics shows an evolution of the distribution of words which demonstrates a greater diversity following the experience. Similar techniques have been applied to evaluating children’s language as they age, however, we are unaware of this being applied to public engagement activities before. We therefore propose that these methods may be useful in evaluating other drop-in engagement activities and demonstrating the impact that they had.

How to cite: Archer, M.: Demonstrating change from a drop-in engagement activity through pre- and post- graffiti walls: Thematic analysis and quantitative linguistics applied to a soundscape exhibit, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3144,, 2020.

EGU2020-5261 | Displays | EOS4.4

Rapid collaborative knowledge building via Twitter after significant geohazard events

Robin Lacassin, Maud Devès, Stephen P. Hicks, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Rémy Bossu, Lucile Bruhat, Daryono Daryono, Desianto F. Wibisono, Laure Fallou, Eric J. Fielding, Alice-Agnes Gabriel, Jamie Gurney, Janine Krippner, Anthony Lomax, Muh. Ma'rufin Sudibyo, Astyka Pamumpuni, Jason R Patton, Helen Robinson, Mark Tingay, and Sotiris Valkaniotis

Twitter is an established social media platform valued by scholars as an open way to disseminate scientific information and to publicly discuss research results. Scientific discussions on Twitter are widely viewed by the media who can then pass on information to the public. Here, we take the example of two 2018 earthquake-related events which were widely commented on Twitter by geoscientists: the Palu Mw7.5 earthquake and tsunami in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and the long-duration (more than one year) seismo-volcanic crisis Mayotte island in the Comoros archipelago between Africa and Madagascar. We build our analysis on a content and contextual analysis of selected Twitter threads about the geophysical characteristics of these events. Most authors of this paper have participated to these Twitter threads and related discussions, and regularly explain geohazard events via this social media. From the two selected examples, we show that Twitter promotes very rapid building of knowledge – in the minutes to hours and days following an event – via an efficient exchange of information and active discussion between the scientists themselves and with the public. Combining these results with our own experience of communicating geohazard science via Twitter, we discuss the advantages and potential pitfalls of this relatively novel way to make scientific information accessible to scholarly peers and to lay people. We argue that scientific discussion on Twitter breaks down the traditional “ivory towers” of academia. It participates to the growing trends towards open science, making science accessible to any non-academics or citizen scientists who can follow and participate in the discussion. This may help people to understand how science is developed, and, in the case of natural/environmental hazards, to better understand their risks.

How to cite: Lacassin, R., Devès, M., Hicks, S. P., Ampuero, J.-P., Bossu, R., Bruhat, L., Daryono, D., Wibisono, D. F., Fallou, L., Fielding, E. J., Gabriel, A.-A., Gurney, J., Krippner, J., Lomax, A., Sudibyo, Muh. M., Pamumpuni, A., Patton, J. R., Robinson, H., Tingay, M., and Valkaniotis, S.: Rapid collaborative knowledge building via Twitter after significant geohazard events, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5261,, 2020.

EGU2020-14433 | Displays | EOS4.4

A text-mining approach to assess impacts and benefits of Nature-Based Solutions

Leydy Alejandra Castellanos Diaz, Pierre Antoine Versini, Ioulia Tchiguirinskaia, and Olivier Bonin

Worldwide, research community has studied the benefits of green and blue spaces implementation in urban areas, generating a great amount of literature regarding this topic. Since these solutions are of interest to face climate change impacts in cities, the European Commission (EC) has funded several projects to make an extensive review of the available literature. Three of these projects were especially studied here, namely EKLIPSE, Mapping Assessment of Ecosystem and their Services- Urban Ecosystem (MAES: Urban Ecosystems), and NATure-based URban innoVATION (NATURVATION). They all aim to identify the physical and social impacts, benefits and trade-offs of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS).

To objectively compare findings presented in the deliverable reports, a text-mining approach was carried out. This methodology coupled with a data visual representation allowed to convert the EC projects reports (corpus) into a meaningful structured analysis. As a result, a graphical representation was created, making possible to recognize concepts, patterns and attributes addressed by each text, as well as stakeholders and their position with respect to the topic.

 The text mining analysis was implemented through Gargantex Blue Jasmine Version (an open source software developed by ISC-PIF). Gargantex results permitted to recover a list of key-terms from each corpus based in their co-occurrence in the whole text. These terms were used to elaborate a visual representation or network, placing the words strongly related close to each other and characterizing the obtained clusters by a similar color.

This approach underlined the specific focus of each project: the conciliation between urbanisation and urban ecosystems (MAES), or the economic valuation and monetisation of NbS (NATURVATION) for instance. Moreover, it demonstrated that despite the different literature review methodologies of each report/project, there are some common trends exhibited by the obtained graphical networks and their statistical attributes. For instance, the need to assess the NbS performance with some adapted indicators; and the important EC supporting role in the implementation of NbS. Similarly, some regulating (e.g. water quality or temperature reduction) and cultural (e.g. recreation or health benefits) services are more addressed.  

This analysis can be applied to all kind of corpus, which makes it easy to understand different and similar concepts and approaches of a set of text data. A text-mining analysis can be conducted over the direct references of NbS benefits, on a collection of publications of a research database like Scopus or Science Direct. 

How to cite: Castellanos Diaz, L. A., Versini, P. A., Tchiguirinskaia, I., and Bonin, O.: A text-mining approach to assess impacts and benefits of Nature-Based Solutions , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14433,, 2020.

The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is driven by the need to understand the variability and trends in the composition of the global atmosphere and the related physical parameters, and to assess the consequences thereof. GAW provides reliable scientific information for a broad spectrum of users, including policymakers, on topics related to atmospheric chemical composition. The programme supports international environmental and climate agreements and improves our understanding of climate change and long-range transboundary air pollution through its work on greenhouse gases, aerosols, reactive gases, atmospheric deposition, stratospheric ozone, and ultraviolet radiation. GAW provides information based on combinations of observations, data analysis and modelling activities, and supports a number of applications at the global, regional and urban scale. This implies a variety of target groups and communication vectors.

To sustain the credibility and increase the visibility of GAW within the WMO community and other national/international bodies, the broader scientific and policy communities, as well as the general public, communication efforts are required. Several activities during the EGU General Assembly 2019 have been carried out to celebrate the 30th anniversary of GAW.

For instance, a Union Symposium explored the 30 year journey from fundamental Atmospheric Composition Research to Societal Services. It showcased the importance of atmospheric composition research to climate, weather forecasting, human health, agricultural productivity and food security. The session highlighted the progress made in translating research into services, but stressed that much more needs to be done. A mentimeter survey during this Union Symposium revealed that among the scientific community GAW is valued for its coordination, observations, capacity building, outreach and its global focus.

Reflections on communication of atmospheric composition and outcomes from the 30th anniversary celebration of GAW will be presented.

How to cite: Volosciuk, C.: Reflection on communicating atmospheric composition and its impacts, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16061,, 2020.

EGU2020-10641 | Displays | EOS4.4

Geotourism – practices, challenges and potentialities in Algarve

Luis Azevedo Rodrigues, Axel Bamberger, and Astrid Blum

Algarve is one Portugal regions’ in where the tourism activities are most relevant both socially and economically. Although Algarve’s most important touristic products are beaches resorts and summer weather conditions, as well as golf and gastronomy, this region still preserve a wide variety of topographies and geographical features that could constitute the basis for Geotourism activities.

Here we present some examples of how Science Communication (SC) and a Science Museum/Centre (SCM) are the ideal intermediates between the tourists and the tourist site or scenic resource. We also disclose how SCM’s could act independently or with less obvious partners, private and public, in developing or complementing Geoutourism activities.

Geoutourism activities’ and intervention areas of the Lagos Ciência Viva Science Centre and its partners could be grouped and will detailed in:

  1. a) Scientific advice and training of tour operators or visit co-guiding; b) scientific residencies programs and field trips; c) production of materials - exs. thematic guides, 3D reconstructions, and printed and mobile interpretative information; d) SCM partners participation in research projects (Citizen Science).

Finally, we present examples of how SC and SCM could adapt the informal education techniques into tourist operators training contributing this way to an increase and diversity of the tourist professionals that work in Algarve and enrich the tourist experience further than the landscape appreciation.

Here we use and adopt the following definition: “Geotourism is sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing the earth’s geological features in a way that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation, and is locally beneficial” (Dowling & Newsome, 2006).

How to cite: Azevedo Rodrigues, L., Bamberger, A., and Blum, A.: Geotourism – practices, challenges and potentialities in Algarve, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10641,, 2020.

Since when together with A. Negrete we theorized the efficaciousness of using geo-myths in a classroom for Earth education purposes (Lanza&Negrete 2007) I have been experimenting the use of them in different science narratives context. In my presentation, I will retrace all the experiences done starting with science theatre, including  Open Air museum, till the more recent  done with scholars of secondary schools for re-writing myths and transforming them in fairy-tales for primary school children. Using geo-myths with students in different context has convinced me of their efficaciousness in spreading the knowledge of the planet, while educating to the respect of the Earth. In my presentation I will give also some precious hints in this sense.

How to cite: Lanza, T.: Using Geo-myths in a classroom: towards creative science writing for scholars, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10985,, 2020.

EGU2020-13264 | Displays | EOS4.4

Earth Arcade’s The Forest: Scenographic engagement spaces

Christopher Skinner, Amy Skinner, and Cat Fergusson Baugh

As researchers we attempt to engage the public with our work in many different spaces yet we hardly ever seriously consider how we might manipulate, or control, that space in order to enhance that engagement. The theatrical research discipline of Scenography concerns itself with understanding how space can be used, through mediums such as stage design and performer/audience interaction, to control engagements and help maximize the impact of the activities within that space.

The Earth Arcade is a series of public engagement activities within an exhibit space that can be tailored for different events, depending on scale and audience. It uses games and game-like activities to share environmental research and inspire people to take actions to address environmental issues. The Forest project was established to explore how scenographic techniques could transform the spaces in which Earth Arcade exhibits are deployed.

Inspiration for The Forest was drawn from a visit to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2019, where several of the exhibits were themselves inspired by environmental concerns. The space was debuted as a distinct part of an Earth Arcade exhibit at the 2019 Freedom Festival in Hull, UK, an annual arts and culture festival with over 130,000 visitors, and included elements like mindfulness, conversation circles, craftivism, and interactive soundscapes. These elements have subsequently been incorporated into further Earth Arcade exhibits.

The Forest demonstrates a successful, inter-disciplinary approach, where environmental researchers and theatrical researchers combine their work for mutual benefit and engage the public with vital environmental issues.

How to cite: Skinner, C., Skinner, A., and Fergusson Baugh, C.: Earth Arcade’s The Forest: Scenographic engagement spaces, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13264,, 2020.

EGU2020-7269 | Displays | EOS4.4

Magnetic to the Core - Communicating paleomagnetism with hands-on activities

Annique van der Boon, Greig Paterson, Janine Kavanagh, and Andy Biggin

With geoscience student numbers dwindling, there is a strong need for Earth scientists to enthuse a new generation of prospective students. We created several hands-on activities to introduce members of the general public of all ages to the fundamentals of, and current research in paleomagnetism. We developed these activities at different outreach events in the UK, such as a family science fair (at the Ness Gardens) and a holiday workshop (at the Victoria Gallery & Museum). In the first week of July, 2019, we contributed to the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, a science exhibition in London with almost 14,000 visitors of the general public, including many school groups. Visitors came from all educational backgrounds. We had a stand that consisted of 4 hands-on experiments, and an informative backdrop. The four activities allowed visitors to explore the range of tasks that a paleomagnetist does, from the collection and measurement of samples to understanding the behaviour of the Earth’s magnetic field. Visitors could measure real lavas from Iceland on a custom-built magnetometer that was designed specifically for outreach, and determine the magnetic polarity of the samples. We also created an information booklet with ’10 things you might not know about Earth’s magnetic field’, which is openly available under a CC-license. To measure the impact of our stand on visitors’ knowledge of paleomagnetism, we designed a quiz. Our results show that especially for school kids, our stand had a significant impact on their knowledge of the Earth’s magnetic field. In this contribution we share lessons learned through designing the ‘Magnetic to the Core’ stand, hands-on activities and evaluations.

How to cite: van der Boon, A., Paterson, G., Kavanagh, J., and Biggin, A.: Magnetic to the Core - Communicating paleomagnetism with hands-on activities, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7269,, 2020.

EGU2020-10081 | Displays | EOS4.4

Shattering Stereotypes

Heather Campbell


Shattering Stereotypes is a projecting that tackles and raises awareness of gender stereotyping in schools and how it can affect subject choice at GCSE and beyond.

In the last few years research by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and many others has shown that the lack of girls taking physics at A-Level is part of a wider problem; gender stereotyping in schools. The report Closing Doors concluded that schools which had low numbers of girls doing physics also had a small number of boys doing subjects which were stereotypically seen as girl subjects. Following this the IOP ran the Opening Doors project which generated a best practice guide for schools looking to tackle gender stereotyping.

Shattering Stereotypes builds on the best practice outlined in Opening Doors. The project is being piloted by the South East Physics network (SEPnet) in schools across the South East of England. The huge lack of diversity in physics is a problem that SEPnet partners are passionate about and are piloting this project as they want to tackle this problem.

Shattering Stereotypes is a set of three workshops for Year 8 students which aim to raise awareness of what gender stereotypes are, in particular:

  • Gender Stereotypes in the context of a student’s everyday life.
  • Gender Stereotypes and a student’s possible career path.

The project also aims to empower students so they can identify and challenge situations where they are presented with these stereotypes.

How to cite: Campbell, H.: Shattering Stereotypes, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10081,, 2020.

EGU2020-16430 | Displays | EOS4.4

25 years of EUGEN – a history of connecting geoscience students in Europe

Marianne Sophie Hollinetz and the EUGEN e.V. - European Geoscience Student Network

EUGEN (European Geoscience Student Network) is an association that provides a platform for the international exchange between geoscience students in Europe. The network organizes annual meetings which take place during the first week of August. From the first EUGEN meeting in 1996 which was organized in Germany the network looks back on a history of annual meetings held in 13 different countries in Europe.

During an EUGEN meeting participants are offered to join a scientific program consisting of field trips and evening lectures. Excursions cover a broad range of geoscientific topics and give an introduction to the geology of the host country. Evening lectures give a deeper insight into topics conveyed during excursions and are organized in cooperation with local universities and supporting organizations. Moreover, participants can use this platform to present their Bachelor or Master thesis. In addition to that, activities like the ‘geolympics’ – a geological-sportive team competition – and one cultural daytrip complete the program. To sum up, EUGEN aims to enhance the scientific exchange across all geoscientific disciplines between both geoscience students and graduates. By combining the accompanying program of a scientific conference with the fun atmosphere of a geological field camp, an EUGEN meeting provides the ideal atmosphere for students to acquire international connections and lay the foundations of future professional collaborations. Participation in such a network is especially advantageous for those who are intending to study abroad and to internationalize their professional network.

EUGEN is a non-profit association which is funded by donations, membership- and participation fees. As such, the network depends on the active participation of committed members in the association. Future challenges comprise finding more and new ways to connect with students from all over Europe in order to increase the diversity of participating counties. Moreover, the association intends to internationalize its organization structure which is at the moment strongly focused on Germany. For the 25th anniversary meeting the network goes back to its roots in the Black forest region in Germany. We invite students from all over the world to save the date (3rd – 9th of August 2020) and join us for an unforgettable experience!

How to cite: Hollinetz, M. S. and the EUGEN e.V. - European Geoscience Student Network: 25 years of EUGEN – a history of connecting geoscience students in Europe, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16430,, 2020.

EGU2020-22153 | Displays | EOS4.4

(Green) Planets in a Room

Livia Giacomini, Francesco Aloisi, Ilaria De Angelis, and Stefano Capretti

Planets in a room (PIAR) is a DIY kit to build a small, lowcost spherical planet simulator and planetarium projector. Teachers, science communicators that run a small museum or planetarium, planetary scientists, geologists and other individuals can easily build it and use it on their own, to show and teach the Earth and other planets and to develop and share material with a growing online community. (

The project is being developed by the italian non-profit association Speak Science, with the collaboration of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the Roma Tre University, Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica. 
It was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme  and  was presented to the scientific community at EPSC (European Planetary Science Congress) in 2017 and 2018. Today it is being distributed to an increasing number of schools, science museum and research institutions from all over Europe. PIAR is also one of the projects selected by the new-born Europlanet Society for education and public outreach of planetary science.

At EGU2020, we will present an improved, new version of the project. Having started with 3d-printed technology,  PIAR is today going green,  with a new wooden, plastic-free version of the kit that will be presented for the first time. 
To help you engage a larger audience, we will also present a selection of educational material and projects that have been developed for PIAR by scientists, teachers and communicators  and that are focused on Earth and on planetary habitability inside and outside the Solar System.

How to cite: Giacomini, L., Aloisi, F., De Angelis, I., and Capretti, S.: (Green) Planets in a Room, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22153,, 2020.

The scientific discovery process in geosciences inevitably involves the analysis of many heterogeneous datasets collected from various sources, e.g., field sampling, laboratories, historical data, that are often presented from different perspectives. Data interoperability, standardised data ingest and classification are critical factors in enabling comprehensive and interdisciplinary data analysis. The AuScope initiative that has been run for over a decade in Australia has produced an open-standards technology stack that has had a profound impact allowing open access to vast data holdings previously hardly accessible to researchers. The developed data delivery technology erased project boundaries, allowed sharing data with international community initiatives (e.g., INSPIRE, OneGeology), and equipped researchers with tools allowing the application of new numerical methods to a broader range of available data sets. It should be noted that in mineral exploration projects data interoperability challenges are not always of a technical nature, social aspects must be also considered to facilitate greater uptake.

This year, AuScope has introduced the Engage activity that is specifically designed to increase collaboration with and between research institutions, developing new pilot scientific applications, enabling access and up-scaling existing applications through intensive collaboration sprints of three months. A steering committee was formed to collect, assess and prioritise mini-project proposals from a range of institutions in research and academic sectors. Each project was equipped with a dedicated team of researchers and engineers to tackle a specific carefully scoped scientific problem with a measurable impact. The first iteration of the program has seen a diverse spectrum of projects including the establishment of a data catalogue for a University laboratory as part of a larger laboratory network development effort, web-enabling numerical legacy codes, containerisation of virtual research environments for educational purposes and a web application User Experience improvement project.

This case study will walk through the social aspects of our experience in cross-institutional collaboration, showcase our learnings, highlight our wins and challenges, and outline the vision for future work.

How to cite: Golodoniuc, P. and Fraser, R.: Bridging gaps between engineering capability and science applications across educational and science organisations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22279,, 2020.

Every month, millions of people read about climate change on Wikipedia. However, the information is often outdated and written by non-experts with strong opinions, such as climate activists and climate contrarians. Based on my six years of experience of writing on Wikipedia, I’ve come to the conclusion Wikipedia that is an undervalued piece of the science communication landscape.

Wikipedia as a medium enjoys high levels of trust compared to traditional news media, at least in the UK. It is built by a game of consensus building and negotiation between people with differing views. I will distill the experiences I have had on effective collaboration with non-experts who expose complexity in my explanations, dealing with those in denial of climate change and more recent examples of the presence of climate activism.

For me editing has also been useful for my research, and I believe the same will be true for other experts,. As writing for Wikipedia is very similar to carrying out a literature review, it is especially worthwhile for early career scientists or others venturing into new topic. It has often helped me to better put my own research into context. Rewording scientific literature for a broad public allows for a better appreciation of the material as well. A further validation can be obtained by submitting your Wikipedia article as a scientific paper to various WikiJournals.

How to cite: Nijsse, F. J. M. M.: Contributing to world's largest encylopedia: my experiences as a Wikipedia science communicator, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19777,, 2020.

Based on my 15 years of experience as a professional atmospheric scientist and amateur science communicator, I can confidently state that science communication usually goes really well. However, I will focus this presentation on the minority of times when it goes badly wrong.

I will give an example of a time when I was misquoted by a national newspaper: my suitably nuanced statement in the interview that "Reducing uncertainties in weather forecasts is a key research priority for the next ten years" ended up being printed as "Within ten years, I think we'll see a model that predicts the weather and climate change exactly". I will also give an example of a time when, at an organized event in Barcelona, I participated in a debate with a former MIT professor who is arguably the world's most famous disputer of climate change science. I will discuss how I handled both these difficult events, and I will give some advice on how to cope when science communication doesn't go according to plan.

I will finish with a plea not to over-simplify the scientific content when communicating with the public. There is evidence that doing so inclines people to under-value experts, which I believe may be a factor in public cynicism regarding climate change. The fact that I was recently quoted in The Times discussing the geekiest of topics in atmospheric science — the Coriolis force — demonstrates that there is a genuine public appetite for appropriate technical content in the mainstream media. I believe we must make the most of that appetite, in order to enthuse and inspire the next generation of geoscientists.

How to cite: Williams, P.: When Science Communication Becomes Difficult: Advice From The Battlefields, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12207,, 2020.

EGU2020-16140 | Displays | EOS4.4

Painting Science in Helsinki

Stephany Buenrostro Mazon, Anniina Lauri, Ella Maria Duplissy, Janne Lampilahti, Risto Makkonen, Tero Mielonen, Maija Pulkkinen, Maikki Rantala, Laura Riuttanen, and Taina Ruuskanen

We took science to the streets of Helsinki using urban art in order to foster communication between scientists and the general public.

Researchers from the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) and Finnish Meteorological Institute, together with artists from Helsinki Urban Art co-designed a public mural that joined climate research, art and literary characters of Alice in Wonderland. The Climate Wall illustrates the 1.5°C and 4°C pathways and highlights the need for a transition from a greenhouse-gas spewing caterpillar into a sustainable butterfly. The wall includes the hashtag #ScienceInHelsinki and INAR’s twitter handle inviting passers-by to ask scientists questions anytime.

The design of the mural was a joint effort, from posing the starting question, “what is the key message we want to deliver?”, to the final imagery used on the wall (and some actual painting!). Methods used for the co-design process included in-person workshops, a facebook group, and online virtual ‘whiteboards’, which resulted in a collateral result of this project: how scientists and artists can work together effectively.

The Climate Wall was inaugurated in a public event at Helsinki Central Library Oodi auditorium in December 2019 with a short presentation, a panel discussion with some of the scientists and artists, and a children’s workshop (“The Art of Asking Questions”).

The project took place from May 2019 until the mural’s completion on October 2019, and was funded by the Finnish Arts Promotion Center (Taike).

How to cite: Buenrostro Mazon, S., Lauri, A., Duplissy, E. M., Lampilahti, J., Makkonen, R., Mielonen, T., Pulkkinen, M., Rantala, M., Riuttanen, L., and Ruuskanen, T.: Painting Science in Helsinki , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16140,, 2020.

EGU2020-2727 | Displays | EOS4.4

Which communication for higher education in scientific disciplines?

Eleonora Vitagliano, Rosa Di Maio, and Domenico Calcaterra

Teaching, researching, knowledge transfer and innovation are important drivers of the development of any Country, provided by higher education in humanities, e.g. social and political sciences or clinical medicine, as well as in science and technology. In Europe these items correspond to the heart of a strategy, which aims to enforce a more inclusive, cohesive and competitive continent. Sometimes, science teaching fails because educational programs do not satisfactorily meet social needs, or research does not achieve innovation targets since it is not enough social-impacting. Scientific reductionism favours the individual point of view rather than shared perspectives, which integrate different disciplines and better answer to real problems. Many researchers, highly specialized in their knowledge fields, often transfer clear scientific concepts but unrelated to life or social and ethical values. Moreover, teaching today uses increasingly advanced tools to improve active learning, placing great trust in technology and forgetting the basics of good communication, which lies in the skills of communicator, his authenticity, his sincere interest in the listener’s growth. Following teaching experiences gained with a scientific communication course realised in the last two years at the Polytechnic and Basic Sciences School (Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy), we propose a distinction between science popularization and science communication, which establishes interesting guidelines for dealing with the complex interaction between higher education and society's needs. We have recovered the basic of communication skills, highlighting the importance of the sender-receiver relationship and strengthening the idea that effective communication occurs when receiver and sender simultaneously grow: the former improves his knowledge and his ability to choose, and the second one changes himself as an effect of the receiver’s reaction. Achieving effective communication in education is primarily a matter of taking care of the interpersonal relationship. Finally, we demonstrate that there is not only one way to communicate, but there are many approaches, depending on the peculiar relationship between sender and receiver.

How to cite: Vitagliano, E., Di Maio, R., and Calcaterra, D.: Which communication for higher education in scientific disciplines?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2727,, 2020.

EGU2020-3526 | Displays | EOS4.4

Your collective timeline of climate science history

Benoît Tournadre and Mélodie Trolliet

EGU General Assembly is one of the world’s biggest conferences dedicated to geosciences. It gathers experts from all science fields connected to the study of past, present and future climates. Many of them have an historic perspective on their area of expertise: such knowledge is useful to develop an integrated view of the history of climate sciences.

We propose EGU2020 attendees to help building a collective timeline of the history of climate science. Everyone is invited to come to our poster to add to the printed timeline a scientific breakthrough in her/his field of expertise. This will be an opportunity to come to chat on climate science history and to construct together a wider picture of climate sciences.

The final cut of the timeline produced during EGU2020 will be available on our web page EarthBreath (, and our Twitter english (@eb_climate_data) and french (@eb_climat_fr) accounts.

EarthBreath is a non-profit initiative that we develop for promoting climate and Earth sciences to diverse publics.

How to cite: Tournadre, B. and Trolliet, M.: Your collective timeline of climate science history, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3526,, 2020.

EGU2020-7398 | Displays | EOS4.4

The new information / communication system of the INGV towards the press as a tool for correct scientific dissemination and against fake news

Valeria De Paola, Francesca Pezzella, Marco Cirilli, Concetta Felli, Caterina Piccione, Simone Vecchi, and Sara Stopponi

INGV carries out, among other activities, seismic and volcanic monitoring of the Italian territory.

One of the main focus of the Institute is to widely disseminate information on research in these subject fields, with the aim of raising public awareness of issues that affect everyone's life.Despite the use of a simplified scientific language, the transmission of this kind of information has often proved difficult even for the specialized public of press operators who, if not experts in the subjects treated by INGV, tend not to consider the information transmitted and, consequently, not to convey it on their press organs.Therefore, in order to improve information for the press and the public, the INGV has developed a constant communication system through the use of social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp represent a reality in which INGV is a constant actor of scientific information in geosciences.Different languages ​​have been developed for the different communication channels: the Twitter limit of 280 characters, for example, forces the use of simple but exhaustive verbal forms for the scientific concepts.In addition to the thematic channels that strictly refer to the subjects of the "Earthquakes", "Volcanoes" and "Environment" Departments, the INGV has developed institutional channels that concern the body's activities as a whole. These channels are managed by the Press Office which, among other things, performs the functions of the Public Relations Office, a real institutional "front office" of Italian public institutions.Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp are the social networks used for the institutional communication and are mainly managed by the Institute's Press Office (with the precision that the Twitter channel refers to the President of the INGV and identifies itself as @ingv_president ).The constant information produced on social networks has created an await for our "news" and a feeling of esteem from the public: this has given rise to a spontaneous "defense curb" towards the sporadic phenomenon of the "haters" and / or of fake scientists who have tried to use the comments tool on the social networks of INGV to get their own visibility. The purpose of the document we want to present is to illustrate how the smart communication flows towards the press and general public, through the constant use of social media, have produced a numerically increased and increasingly positive diffusion of the INGV brand in the press and in user re-posts. This has led to the spread of accredited scientific news in geoscience subjects, in contrast to fake authors and fake news.This type of communication is very useful in the context of particularly sensitive issues (such as in highly seismic or volcanic territories) where false authors easily spread alarmist news.

How to cite: De Paola, V., Pezzella, F., Cirilli, M., Felli, C., Piccione, C., Vecchi, S., and Stopponi, S.: The new information / communication system of the INGV towards the press as a tool for correct scientific dissemination and against fake news, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7398,, 2020.

EGU2020-7420 | Displays | EOS4.4

Biogeocaching – a scavenger hunt for the treasures of biology around Lake Lunz

Romana Hödl, Katrin Attermeyer, Laura Coulson, and Astrid Harjung

Climate change and decreasing biodiversity are currently hot topics in the media. Freshwaters in the alpine region are good indicators of climate change and, hence, perfect examples for illustrating these threats. Here, we want to share our idea for a Geocaching path (similar to the popular treasure hunt game) that is used to educate the public about the biology of freshwaters. We want to educate the visitors about the natural environment and the consequences of climate change and decreasing biodiversity for our aquatic ecosystems and livelihoods. In particular, we want to show the approaches of scientists to understand and predict these threats and, furthermore, how our society can find solutions to protect aquatic ecosystems.

Lake Lunz is a very popular place for tourists. Visitors enjoy walks around the lake as well as swimming. Close by is also one of the oldest lake research stations (WasserCluster Lunz – Biologische Station), where scientists from all over the world are currently conducting on aquatic ecosystems. The project received funding from the EGU Public Engagement Grant in 2019. The GPS coordinates for the Geocache (a small treasure box) will be hidden in the answers to several questions about freshwater biology that will lead the participants around the lake, a search we termed “Biogeocaching”. The answers can be found on different informational signs that will be set up around the lake and at the experimental sites and research facilities of WasserCluster Lunz. After finishing the path, the participants will have learned about ecology of alpine lakes and the research activities at WasserCluster Lunz.

We think that geocaching as a treasure hunt is a playful way for people of all ages to discover nature. The combination of an outdoor recreational activity with information about freshwaters, climate change, and decreasing biodiversity –Biogeocaching - will sensitize the public to and raise awareness of these hot topics in the field of Earth Sciences. We hope to encourage other researchers and research institutes to develop something similar on their topic and research.

How to cite: Hödl, R., Attermeyer, K., Coulson, L., and Harjung, A.: Biogeocaching – a scavenger hunt for the treasures of biology around Lake Lunz, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7420,, 2020.

EGU2020-10775 | Displays | EOS4.4

#SciComm via the European Geoscience Union Divisions’ blogs: experiences from the editorial teams.

Valeria Cigala, Clara Burgard, Elenora van Rijsingen, Iris van Zelst, Olivia Trani, Tommaso Alberti, Matthias Sprenger, Hana Jurikova, Luke Barnard, Gabriele Amato, Giulia Roder, Jonathan Rizzi, Luigi Lombardo, David Fernández-Blanco, Derya Gürer, Samuele Papeschi, Hannah Sophia Davies, Christian Franzke, Davide Faranda, Anna von der Heydt, Stéphane Vannitsem, Luca Dal Zilio, Anne Glerum, Anna Gülcher, Diogo Lourenço, Tobias Meier, Antoine Rozel, Grace Shephard, Violaine Coulon, Sophie Berger, and Marie Cavitte

In an era where communicating your science goes hand in hand with doing your science, many scientists devote time to develop tools and learn new skills and strategies for Science Communication. The European Geosciences Union (EGU) has put in place one of those tools: the Divisions’ Blog. Most of the current EGU Divisions has an active blog run mainly by one or more volunteer early-career scientists. 
Regularly, both editors, and regular and guest authors write about research in their field, talk about relevant topics discussed within the scientific community, and highlight interesting facts for scientists and the general public. The goal is to provide a platform for enhancing communication among geoscientists in ways that go beyond the means of peer-reviewed publication or scientific conferences. At the same time, we aim at engaging with the general public, by writing in a technically sound, but more accessible form. Each Division’s blog has its character, like the teams behind it, making the blogs a diversified and exciting digital environment.

Here we show the main numbers, statistics, and feedback from each Division Blog, thus providing a measure of the efforts put in and the impact made so far by the broad Geoscience community. We discuss best practices, blog styles and topics which do work well or not, based on readership statistics. We also show the channels chosen for advertising the blogs, such as social media, and the impact of the choices made. Finally, we show that even though EGU has its base in Europe, we reach an audience beyond Europe thanks to active members based outside Europe and to topics addressing particular geographical areas.

We conclude that, within the increasingly essential role played by Science Communication in every research field, the EGU Divisions’ Blogs are successful at sharing research related to their fields with the broad geoscientific and non-scientific community. This success mainly relies on the time, effort, motivation, and creativity of editors and guest authors.

How to cite: Cigala, V., Burgard, C., van Rijsingen, E., van Zelst, I., Trani, O., Alberti, T., Sprenger, M., Jurikova, H., Barnard, L., Amato, G., Roder, G., Rizzi, J., Lombardo, L., Fernández-Blanco, D., Gürer, D., Papeschi, S., Davies, H. S., Franzke, C., Faranda, D., von der Heydt, A., Vannitsem, S., Dal Zilio, L., Glerum, A., Gülcher, A., Lourenço, D., Meier, T., Rozel, A., Shephard, G., Coulon, V., Berger, S., and Cavitte, M.: #SciComm via the European Geoscience Union Divisions’ blogs: experiences from the editorial teams., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10775,, 2020.

EGU2020-11135 | Displays | EOS4.4

Geobites: Down-to-earth summaries of new geoscience research for a broad audience

Charles M. Shobe, Kristina T. Vrouwenvelder, Margaret Moerchen, and Matthew Giampoala

The academic literature is the primary source for current developments in science. But limited access to journals as well as the widespread use of technical jargon can inhibit the dissemination of new knowledge to scientists from other fields and to non-scientists. These serve as major barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration with non-geoscientists and to efforts to further public understanding of geoscience research. Meanwhile, traditional science news focuses on topics of obvious interest to the public, such as geohazards or climate change. While engaging with non-geoscientists on these topics is important, the majority of geoscience research lacks a mechanism for generating public interest.

“Bites” sites, originally introduced in the astronomy community, are blogs dedicated to communicating new developments in science to a broad audience. Each bite is an engaging, short (400-700 word) summary that explains an exciting new scientific paper and discusses its importance in the field. Bites are typically written by graduate students and other early career scientists about recently published articles that have not been picked up by more traditional science news outlets. These sites serve three key purposes: 1) to keep the interested public – especially university students who may consider careers in geoscience – up to date with recent developments in the field, 2) to generate attention for new work that traditional science media outlets may miss, and 3) to give early career scientists practice with public-facing writing and editing, which are critical skills both within and beyond academia.

Here we present the new site Geobites, targeted at communicating new geoscience (broadly defined) research to the public. We show examples of articles on Geobites, diagram the structure of a good article, present initial site analytics, and solicit feedback from the geoscience communication community.

How to cite: Shobe, C. M., Vrouwenvelder, K. T., Moerchen, M., and Giampoala, M.: Geobites: Down-to-earth summaries of new geoscience research for a broad audience, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11135,, 2020.

EGU2020-18731 | Displays | EOS4.4

Environmental filmmaking workshops: Engaging university students on plastic pollution in Cambodia and Vietnam

Chris Hackney, Vivien Cumming, and Robin Waldman

‘Proof of concept’ science communication workshops were organised in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Hanoi, Vietnam focussing on capturing community perceptions on environmental issues. The aim was to help students on environmental courses learn quick and easy ways to make impactful short films so as to communicate their science to the public and their peers on social media, which is widely used in the region.  The workshops lasted a day and taught students how to find a story, film it and edit it into a 1-minute video, with the videos shown at the end of the day in a mini ‘film festival’ and then shared by the students. Our research involves looking at plastic pollution in the Mekong River. In order to publicise the problem to the general public in the region the workshops with local students allowed us to tell environmental stories on social media from their perspective and streamlined the process of communication, providing content that could be shared widely. The workshops were very successful, and we now have a tried and tested method of training scientists in regions of the world where crucial scientific research is being carried out to effectively engage with their colleagues, the general public and the media in their region.

How to cite: Hackney, C., Cumming, V., and Waldman, R.: Environmental filmmaking workshops: Engaging university students on plastic pollution in Cambodia and Vietnam, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18731,, 2020.

The pan-European SeaDataNet marine and ocean data infrastructure started in early 2000, by means of a European funded project to create a framework for the management of large and diverse sets of data deriving from in situ measurements. It has been improved thanks to different European projects, it represents the joint efforts of several marine institutes around the European and the Mediterranean seas. The current project that is improving the infrastructure is the SeaDataCloud Horizon 2020 project; it involves a network of 56 partners across 29 countries.

According to our main objectivest he project designed and implemented actions which can spur a response on an international level, creating the basis to reinforce the pan-European SeaDataCloud community.


Information Technology (IT) has an important impact on how people work together. In the SeaDataCloud project the following web communication tools are used:

  • SeaDataNet website and Extranet;
  • Partners’ websites;
  • Mailing lists;
  • Electronic newsletters;
  • On line educational materials;
  • Videos and video tutorials;
  • Twitter;
  • Articles in e-journals;


Members of the SeaDataCloud and SeaDataNet I and II, have had the opportunity of face to face meetings, the norm is to travel even for meetings of short duration. This investment in time and money allows direct contact between the partners of the projects. This creates an opportunity for people across Europe to meet each other, to work together and to speak openly.


The IMDIS (International Conference on Marine Data and Information Systems) conferences have been organized in the framework of the European funded projects that have allowed the SeaDataNet infrastructure to be developed and upgraded. The meetings started in 2005 with the first conference organised in Brest (France), to share knowledge and best practices on marine data management. IMDIS is a unique platform and has the following goals:

  • Raise awareness of the SeaDataNet infrastructure, new development and standards;
  • Share experiences in ocean data management;
  • Enable synergies between data providers and data managers.


It has been a breeding ground for inspirational ideas, for example the project ODIP (Ocean Data Interoperability Platform) that led to its successor ODIP II project was conceived during one of the conferences. The challenges and objectives of the projects were to find common interoperability solutions to problems in ocean data sharing, in collaboration with institutions from Europe, USA and Australia. In this case the IMDIS series of conferences have represented an opportunity not only for knowledge exchange in ocean data management but they have led to significant results in terms of new synergies that made it possible to find new partners and projects.

The direct interactions during the meetings as well as the on line tools have had a positive impact on reinforcing the development of a large SeaDataNet community across Europe and beyond.

The SeaDataCloud project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 730960.

How to cite: Pecci, L., Fichaut, M., and Schaap, D.: The communication and the organization of events in a scientific multidiscipinary community: the SeaDataNet experience, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19182,, 2020.

EOS5.1 – Geoethics: how and why should geosciences serve society?

EGU2020-2759 | Displays | EOS5.1

Taking responsibility: Geo-societal studies of alternative futures

Martin Bohle and Martin Kowarsch

Societies deploy technologies and infrastructures to interact with natural systems – for which geoscience expertise is key, including understanding changes due to unsustainable human practices. Despite its geoscience basis, however, human interaction with natural systems primarily is an economic, social and cultural endeavour about a desirable human niche. Depending on the ‘political spin’ of given actors – stewardship or engineering, for example – a geo-societal narrative is created when shaping the global human niche. These narratives explain how a given technology or infrastructure shall support production, consumption and societal well-being, as well as societal change and environmental alteration. Relatedly, as highlighted by the geoethics approach [*], geoscience research has ethical, social and cultural implications – for example, in terms of explanatory narratives. Led by climate research, contemporary Earth System Science illustrates that anthropogenic global change is as much a socio-cultural than a science theme 1–3, which cannot be neatly disconnected.

Because the science and the socio-cultural spheres are so inevitably intermingled, a holistic approach to geoscience is required, e.g. when it comes to the future of humankind. Applying the ethical concept of responsibility for future generations (intergenerational justice), the geoscience community should engage with studying pathways to possible futures; that is: to embrace integrated assessments, which are holistic, involving personal and societal concerns, economic and environmental choices as well as philosophical conceptions of the world, human histories and human futures. While some geoscience domains, such as climate sciences, embarked on integrated assessments, others focus on past and present dynamics.  In particular, studies of hydrology, nutrient cycles, soils and natural hazards seem prone to engage with holistic, future-oriented integrated assessments.

Swift geo-processes such as the rise of the global sea-level are a ‘geological present’. However, human perception sees them shaping ‘a later future’ only – which sometimes blurs people’s sense-making of the present. Therefore, intergenerational justice calls upon geoscientists to engage with studies of possible future configurations of the Earth System; that is, geoscientist should study the networked geo-, bio-, techno- and societal-cultural systems holistically. It would be negligent grounding political governance on a body of expertise that lacks the integration of future-oriented geoscience knowledge with social science and humanities. More specifically, we argue to envisage a highly integrated exploration of alternative future policy pathways 4. This approach envisages a deliberative learning process about policy alternatives in light of their practical (geoscience and socio-cultural) implications, engaging the potential of geoscience research for humankind.


  1. Kowarsch, M., Flachsland, C., Garard, J., Jabbour, J. & Riousset, P. The treatment of divergent viewpoints in global environmental assessments. Environ. Sci. Policy 77, 225–234 (2017).
  2. O’Neill, B. C. et al. The roads ahead: Narratives for shared socioeconomic pathways describing world futures in the 21st century. Glob. Environ. Chang. 42, 169–180 (2017).
  3. Schill, C. et al. A more dynamic understanding of human behaviour for the Anthropocene. Nat. Sustain. (2019). doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0419-7
  4. Edenhofer, O. & Kowarsch, M. Cartography of pathways: A new model for environmental policy assessments. Environ. Sci. Policy 51, 56–64 (2015).

How to cite: Bohle, M. and Kowarsch, M.: Taking responsibility: Geo-societal studies of alternative futures, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2759,, 2020.

EGU2020-1260 | Displays | EOS5.1

Making ethics codes more effective

Jan Boon

Many businesses and organizations of all types have adopted ethics codes or codes of conduct. Examples relevant to geoscience include the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics,  the Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy of the American Geophysical Union, and the Joint EGU-AGU Statement of principles for a  code of ethics for the geosciences. The Government of Canada is implementing a Science Integrity Policy across its science-related Departments. Successful implementation of such policies can be challenging and many breaches have been and continue to be reported. Humans make ethical or unethical decisions and understanding the sociological processes that are involved and applying this knowledge to the implementation of ethics codes may improve their success rates. This paper analyzes these sociological processes through the lens of symbolic interactionism theory. In spite of its somewhat forbidding name, the theory is actually quite simple. It shows how interactions between people lead to the meanings they give to other people, organizations and things. It describes how these meanings lead to the interpretation of situations, and how groups arrive at normative decisions based on this interpretation. These normative decisions involve ethical considerations. The paper describes the approach and seeks audience feedback on a proposed survey of the members of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics  to collect empirical evidence on which to base a symbolic interactionist approach to effective implementation of ethics codes in geoscience.

How to cite: Boon, J.: Making ethics codes more effective, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1260,, 2020.

EGU2020-16812 | Displays | EOS5.1

How efficient are Early Career Scientists in peer-review activities?

Mathieu Casado, Gwenaëlle Gremion, Kelsey Aho, Jilda Caccavo, Nicolas Champollion, Emily Choy, Rahul Dey, Alfonso Fernandez, Gerlis Fugmann, Juan Höfer, Shridar Jawak, Kyle Mayers, Sarah Maes, Jhon Fredy Mojica, Martine Lizotte, Prashant Pandit, Paul Rosenbaum, Elisa Seyboth, Sarah Shakil, and Maud van Soest

In our collective endeavour towards global sustainability, there is now a broad appreciation that producing scientifically robust knowledge requires new forms of engagement between scientists, stakeholders and society. But what is the role of Early Career Scientists (ECS) in these processes that are closing the gap between science and policy? Because opportunities to interact with more experienced peers through science refereeing are scarce, the role of ECS in the peer-review process remains minor despite ECS possessing strong academic credentials. Such engagement in the peer-review process represents a valuable opportunity for ECS and the scientific community as a whole. This opportunity provides a robust platform for ECS to understand the overall review process and editorial activities related to high-credibility publications such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). During May/November 2018, 174 ECS on behalf of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) reviewed the first and second-order drafts of the IPCC “Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere and in a Changing Climate (SROCC)”. Here, we present the methodology, results, and lessons learned from these group reviews. Altogether, data from participant surveys on their experience and their comments catalog illustrate ECS as competent reviewers, comparable to more experienced researchers. The diverse disciplines and geographic perspectives, fostered through APECS and its partners, are currently being mobilized in the First Order Draft of the Working Groups I and II of the Assessment Report 6 of the IPCC, and will continue during the second round of reviews of these reports in early 2020. Information gathered during these ongoing reviews will add to the findings obtained during the review of the SROCC.

How to cite: Casado, M., Gremion, G., Aho, K., Caccavo, J., Champollion, N., Choy, E., Dey, R., Fernandez, A., Fugmann, G., Höfer, J., Jawak, S., Mayers, K., Maes, S., Mojica, J. F., Lizotte, M., Pandit, P., Rosenbaum, P., Seyboth, E., Shakil, S., and van Soest, M.: How efficient are Early Career Scientists in peer-review activities? , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16812,, 2020.

The Leviathan gas rig, erected 9kms offshore Dor beach, Israel, started in Dec 2019 to treat and refine gas from the largest Israeli gas field, Levaiathan. Initially (2014), gas treatment was planned to occur on an FPSO, which is a deep-sea floating platform. But then in 2015 the gas treatment was moved, following an undocumented decision, to a static platform opposite the coastal settlements of Hof HaCarmel. This sparked the largest environmental struggle that Israel ever knew. I will present the whole story: How and why was the rig moved from sea to shore. Why were regulators sure there will be no environmental problem. Why are citizens concerned. And finally, how are scientists and academics involved, playing a role of scientific experts in the service of society.

How to cite: Aharonov, E.: The Levaiathan gas rig struggle: environmental, political, regulatory, technological and scientific aspects. , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10747,, 2020.

EGU2020-18416 | Displays | EOS5.1

Theory of change for the mineral Exploration - INFACT project

Cathryn MacCallum, Jon Russill, Moritz Kirsch, Leila Ajjabou, Insiya Salam, and Louis Bennet

The INFACT project aims to reinvigorate mineral exploration in Europe by engaging society and using new technology and research to improve mineral exploration practice. The consortium is formed of geo- and social scientists working together to achieve a new vision of mineral exploration. As a key part of INFACT, expert stakeholders from across Europe and other jurisdictions such as Australia and Canada have been engaged in a series of online and face to face discussions to determine and address identified challenges to exploration and a way to overcome them. 

Five key environmental and social challenges and barriers to exploration in Europe have been determined by INFACT through a mix of qualitative and quantitative research. These were (i) existing land use, (ii) the cost of mineral exploration, (iii) public perceptions and negative attitudes toward the exploration and mining industry, (iv) sustainability and the environment, and (v) governance and regulatory structures and processes. 

Through a series of workshops and interviews, discussing ways to address these challenges and barriers, a vision for mineral exploration and mining in Europe was created:

  • Mining in Europe should contribute to local and regional sustainable development, enabling a low carbon economy through environmentally and socially acceptable extraction of critical raw materials(CRM). This will involve:
  • The European Commission developing and enforcing rigorous and binding legislation with respect to all mineral exploration activities;
  • Increased investment contribution for exploration of CRM within Europe;
  • Exploration companies being required to adopt environmental and socially acceptable good practice;
  • Increased awareness of the importance of mining to support a low carbon economy and improved public trust in the process;
  • Creation of socio-economic shared value through adoption of multi-stakeholder collaborative planning and visioning; and
  • Exploration companies achieving and maintaining a Social Licence to Operate;

The work presented will determine a way to ensure socio-environmentally sustainable supply of raw materials and the key steps required to achieve this vision. 

How to cite: MacCallum, C., Russill, J., Kirsch, M., Ajjabou, L., Salam, I., and Bennet, L.: Theory of change for the mineral Exploration - INFACT project, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18416,, 2020.

EGU2020-7309 | Displays | EOS5.1

Prospection of geo-resources for the building of social houses in Cuba

Domingo Alfonso Martín Sánchez, Jorge Luis Costafreda Mustelier, Leticia Presa Madrigal, Ana García Laso, and Juan Antonio Rodríguez Rama

The Spanish group of the IAPG has one of its strategic areas focused on development cooperation, in order to solve environmental, ethical and social problems related to the management of geological resources. One of the branches of this cooperation focuses on natural materials prospection which can be used as cheap additives in the construction process. As a result of this line, a cooperation project was carried out framed in the program of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) with Latin America, specifically with the University of Moa, province of Holguín (Cuba). This research aims to characterize the deposits of natural pozzolans in the northeastern region of Cuba, and determine their possible applications in the manufacture of cements and mortars for the construction of social housing in that region. The tasks contemplated in the development of this project are divided into two fundamental parts; the first one, which describes the field campaigns in situ in which geological survey and sampling work was carried out, with the assimilation of natural samples from the selected deposits, as well as samples of slag extracted from a steel plant. The second part refers to the laboratory campaign, in which a great variety of tests have been carried out to determine the suitability of the samples, among which are mentioned: X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, chemical analysis, pozzolanicity, granulometric test, specific surface, real density, freezing, mechanical resistance and determination of the speed of propagation of the ultrasound. After analyzing the results obtained, it is concluded that the samples studied have the properties and characteristics necessary for the manufacture of cements and mortars with pozzolanic characteristics, justifying, in this way, the manufacture of products with a moderate production cost and with the quality for the construction of social housing and infrastructure, so necessary in the study area.

How to cite: Martín Sánchez, D. A., Costafreda Mustelier, J. L., Presa Madrigal, L., García Laso, A., and Rodríguez Rama, J. A.: Prospection of geo-resources for the building of social houses in Cuba, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7309,, 2020.

Raising awareness about opportunities for transdisciplinary work and ethical grounding to meet the global challenges to the professions is paramount. Issues of justice and living within the planetary boundaries become also more prominent in the life, social sciences and humanities questioning disciplinary silos. Institutionalising alternatives that create and sustain broader knowledge ecologies for sustainable living is yet to be systematically enabled through new learning and educational pathways. We argue, that there are considerable mutual learning opportunities between artisanal, small-scale mining and small-scale fisheries.

The global employment in the artisanal gold mining sector is estimated at some 10 to 15 million people, of whom 4.5 million are women and 0.6 million children. Some 40 million people are estimated along value chains in the artisanal fishing of whom 50% are estimated to be women. In both sectors informality is high, production very incompletely recorded and relations with governments and local administrations tend to be difficult as perceptions about the negative sides of the artisanal operations are pervasive in a policy context modelled on industrial exploitation and value chains. Where attempts have been made to quantify production and role in employment, food security or even in contribution to GDP and international trade, the numbers almost always justify policy change in favour of the small-scale sectors. In the face of disruptive technologies liable to make many industrial jobs redundant, opportunities for a new brand of artisanal operators in higher value added segments would be possible with suitable investment in people and institutions. This could go well beyond the poverty discourse into which artisanal miners and fishers are often confined, a notion vigorously rejected by many fishers e.g. in West Africa.

The 2018 “Mosi-oa-Tunya Declaration on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining, Quarrying and Development” and the “Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication” with its grounding in human rights and adopted in 2014 by the FAO Committee of Fisheries are starting points for demarginalising artisanal operators. The small-scale fisheries academy (SSF academy) in Senegal offer an example of how this could be enabled. Some 600,000 people are estimated to work along artisanal value chains in the country.

The SSF academy explores the possibilities to use bottom-up training of trainer approaches to empower individuals (men and women) and communities to improve their livelihoods. Inclusive, participatory methods of active learning based on “Gender Actions Learninig System” (GALS) are being tested to enable experiencing positive local change in relation to global policy goals like the SSF Guidelines in the context of Agenda 2030. The SSF academy offers a safe space where diverse actors can meet, confront their different knowledges and experiences and develop social and technological innovations. Wider sharing builds capabilities and practice of advocacy and collective action thus also paving the way for forms of more participatory governance. Demonstrating feasibility may entice policy reform that would benefit from long-term societal views to counter wide-spread short-termism, for fishers and miners.

How to cite: Nauen, C. E.: Small is beautiful – or is it? The challenges of integrating human rights principles into sector policies favourable to artisanal fisheries and mining, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3936,, 2020.

EGU2020-2460 | Displays | EOS5.1

Ethical recommendations for Sustainable development of algae aquaculture.

Michele Barbier and Bénédicte Charrier

Macroalgae, also called seaweed, play a key ecological role in coastal ecosystems and can be used for a variety of applications, including food, health products, cosmetics, agriculture and environmental management. Well-developed in Asia, the seaweed aquaculture is also a growing economic sector in Europe that can contribute to a sustainable circular bioeconomy. However, this sector lacks specific legislation to regulate its development. To ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of this sector, a group of experts has designed the European guidelines for sustainable development of seaweed aquaculture, PEGASUS, in a participatory and co-designed manner. The scientific, technical, environmental, legal and socio-economic dimensions have been taken into account to anticipate any potential risks associated with aquaculture development. Combining the expertise of SMEs and researchers, these guidelines have been published and presented to the European Parliament to help all stakeholders in the sector to understand the different aspects of seaweed aquaculture. All actors in the sector, such as farmers, suppliers, users, researchers and decision-makers, should establish a collaborative network along the value chain to guide strategic development plans and ensure environmental sustainability.

Ethical recommendations extracted and inspired from this work for better governance and preservation of the marine environment will be presented

How to cite: Barbier, M. and Charrier, B.: Ethical recommendations for Sustainable development of algae aquaculture., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2460,, 2020.

EGU2020-5704 | Displays | EOS5.1

Geotourism interactions with Christian Orthodox religion in Tembien (Tigray, Ethiopia)

Jan Nyssen, Meheretu Yonas, Tesfaalem Ghebreyohannes, Wolbert Smidt, Lutgart Lenaerts, Seifu Gebreslassie, Sofie Annys, Hailemariam Meaza, Frances Williams, Joost Dessein, Miruts Hagos, and Mitiku Haile

Geotourism combines abiotic, biotic and cultural aspects. In Tigray in northern Ethiopia, the Orthodox Christian religion is a dominant component of culture, that highlights the importance of geology and the wider natural environment, and creates great visibility for it.

  • Hundreds of rock churches have been established in various lithologies, often in very scenic landscapes and are a major tourist attraction in Ethiopia;
  • Around every church in Tembien, a sacred forest is present, remnants of the primary forest, 1 ha up to 1 km² in size. In such a way, the believers try to protect God’s creation; it is also a way to protect the church site from erosion and provide a pleasant microclimate;
  • Numerous, often strong springs are considered as “holy water”, that has the power to cure various diseases; people travel long distances on foot, either to spend a required period of time near the spring, or to obtain water, often mixed with soil that will be carried home;
  • Major churches and “holy waters” are located in remote places; pilgrims follow semi-fixed pilgrim ways, along which basic facilities are established and where riparian people are not surprised by the presence of trekkers;
  • As it has been created by God, there is a general sense for environmental protection, which is evidenced by the numerous birds present, the status of forests, construction of nest boxes for doves (representing the Holy Spirit), or the status of wild animals such as leopards;
  • Underground tunnels, natural caves (Zeyi cave is 364 m long) or caverns in rocks play a crucial role in ancient traditions of the Tigrayan highlanders; their religious use is considered as a christianisation of an earlier sacred spot;
  • There are numerous impressive popular geological myths inspired by religion – for example a fault line that evidences a path of a sacred snake, a petrified marriage party, a 150 Mg rock that was rolled by one Mr. Ilias for sake of church building - the storytelling exemplifies the Tembien Highlands’ geoheritage value;
  • The function of these sacred places as a main destination for domestic tourism contributes to popularising geology in the society.

As geosites are so highly valued in local religious beliefs, introducing a secondary function as geosites requires specific challenges to be taken into account, besides the common drawbacks of tourism in developing countries:

  • Problems of access to churches, forests, caves;
  • Gender neutral geotourism vs patriarchal religious attitudes;
  • Conservation vs “modernisation” of rock churches and sacred sites;
  • 4.5 billion years History of Earth vs 6000 years since Genesis;
  • Information boards at geosites: religious narratives vs scientific understanding;
  • Showing appropriate respect to the sacred environment;
  • Preparation of appropriate and site-specific souvenirs; and
  • Community ownership and benefits of geotourism.

In Tembien, the local society has preserved sacred geosites which are important for their self-definition as societies protected by divine powers. Mutual respect, openness and a participatory approach are key when sharing the preserved sites to geotourists.

How to cite: Nyssen, J., Yonas, M., Ghebreyohannes, T., Smidt, W., Lenaerts, L., Gebreslassie, S., Annys, S., Meaza, H., Williams, F., Dessein, J., Hagos, M., and Haile, M.: Geotourism interactions with Christian Orthodox religion in Tembien (Tigray, Ethiopia), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5704,, 2020.

EGU2020-841 | Displays | EOS5.1

Inventory and Assessment of Geosites for Geotourism Development in the southeastern Lake Tana region, northwest Ethiopia

Getaneh Addis Tessema, Jan van der Borg, Amare Sewnet, Anton van Rompaey, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Kerebih Asrese, Steven Van Passel, and Jean Poesen


Geotourism is a niche type of sustainable tourism which focuses on geological and geomorphological features of an area, and associated culture and biodiversity. Geosites are important resources for geotourism development. The southeastern Lake Tana region in Ethiopia possesses several geosites that are of interest to both the scientific community and tourists having a broad interest. The area is also part of an important economic corridor and tourist route in the country. Currently, only the Blue Nile Falls, Lake Tana and its island monasteries are being visited. The objective of this study is, therefore, to inventory geosites in the southeastern Lake Tana region and to assess their potential for geotourism development. To this end, a geosite inventory and assessment methodology was developed. The criteria, indicators and sub-indicators used for assessment were prepared based on a review of publications. The indicators used for assessing the potential of geosites are scientific, educational, scenic, recreational, protection, functional and ecological values. A first list of 114 potential geosites have been inventoried based on stakeholder interviews and a review of relevant documents in the study area. Further screening and clustering resulted in a final list of 61 geosites. Among the major newly proposed geosites are viewpoints; waterfalls; hot springs; a large flood plain; caves and cave churches; rock-hewn churches;  a shield volcano; lava tubes; and volcanic plugs, cones and columns. Quantitative assessment of the potential of these geosites revealed that clustered  geosites received relatively higher scientific, scenic and recreational value scores. For sustainable development of geotourism in the Lake Tana area, it is important to improve access to geosites, and establish visitor centers and accommodation facilities at selected sites.

Keywords Geoheritage . Sustainable development . Volcanic features . Lake . Waterfalls . Flood plain . Geotouristic valorization.

How to cite: Tessema, G. A., van der Borg, J., Sewnet, A., van Rompaey, A., Adgo, E., Nyssen, J., Asrese, K., Van Passel, S., and Poesen, J.: Inventory and Assessment of Geosites for Geotourism Development in the southeastern Lake Tana region, northwest Ethiopia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-841,, 2020.