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Exploring Geology by Reynolds/Johnson/ Morin/Carter is an innovative textbook intended for an introductory college geology course, such as Physical Geology. This ground-breaking, visually spectacular book was designed from cognitive and educational research on how students think, learn, and study.
Nearly all information in the book is built around 2,600 photographs and stunning illustrations, rather than being in long blocks of text that are not articulated with figures. These annotated illustrations help students visualize geologic processes and concepts, and are suited to the way most instructors already teach. To alleviate cognitive load and help students focus on one important geologic process or concept at a time, the book consists entirely of two-page spreads organized into 19 chapters. Each two-page spread is a self-contained block of information about a specific topic, emphasizing geologic concepts, processes, features, and approaches. These spreads help students learn and organize geologic knowledge in a new and exciting way.
Inquiry is embedded throughout the book, modeling how geologists investigate problems. The title of each two-page spread and topic heading is a question intended to get readers to think about the topic and become interested and motivated to explore the two-page spread for answers. Each chapter is a learning cycle, which begins with a visually engaging two-page spread about a compelling geologic issue. Each chapter ends with an Investigation that challenges students with a problem associated with a virtual place. The world-class media, spectacular presentations, and assessments are all tightly articulated with the textbook. This book is designed to encourage students to observe, interpret, think critically, and engage in authentic inquiry, and is highly acclaimed by reviewers, instructors, and students.
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Julia K. Johnson is currently a full-time faculty member in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Her M.S. and Ph.D. research involved structural geology and geoscience education research. The main focus of her geoscience education research is on student- and instructor-generated sketches for learning, teaching, and assessment in college geology classes. Prior to coming to ASU, she did groundwater studies of copper deposits and then taught full time in the Maricopa County Community College District, teaching Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, and their labs. At ASU, she teaches Introduction to Geology to nearly 1,000 students per year and supervises the associated introductory geology labs. She also coordinates the introductory geology teaching efforts of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, helping other instructors incorporate active learning and inquiry into large lecture classes.
Stephen J. Reynolds is the author of the highly successful Exploring Geology, Stephen Reynolds is bringing his innovation and strong visual content to Exploring Physical Geography. Stephen J. Reynolds received an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at El Paso, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geosciences from the University of Arizona. He then spent ten years directing the geologic framework and mapping program of the Arizona Geological Survey, completing a new Geologic Map of Arizona. Steve currently is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, where he has taught various courses about regional geology, earth resources, evolution of landscapes, field studies, and teaching methods. As a National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) distinguished speaker, he traveled across the country presenting talks and workshops on how to infuse active learning and inquiry into large introductory geology classes. He is commonly an invited speaker to national workshops and symposia on active learning, visualization, and teaching.
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