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UW-Eau Claire's Earth Science Seminar to Feature Paul Morin and the GeoWall

RELEASED: Jan. 23, 2006

Paul MorinEAU CLAIRE — The first presentation in the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Earth Science Seminar Series for the spring semester will feature Paul Morin, an educator who has been instrumental in bringing scientific visualization to the earth science classroom with his work at the department of geology and geophysics, University of Minnesota, and the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. Morin's talk, "Visualization in the Earth Science Classroom," will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan 27, in Room 281 of Phillips Science Hall.

One of the 2005-06 National Association of Geoscience Teachers' Distinguished Speakers, Morin will demonstrate the GeoWall, an inexpensive, low-end, virtual reality system that is now deployed in over 500 locations around the world. Participants will use 3D goggles to view the system.

According to Morin, difficulty with map interpretation is probably the most important barrier to students' ability to access and explore course concepts in earth science. So much of the discipline's information is encoded in maps, that students who are not innately predisposed to understanding maps find it difficult to understand course content and methodology. GeoWall stereo projection systems help students of diverse backgrounds and abilities to understand map data and succeed in their coursework. Morin thinks these systems not only will help increase students' scientific literacy, but may also greatly increase the diversity of students who go on to consider earth science as a potential career.

Morin has contributed to the Science Museum of Minnesota's Big Back Yard, a 1.2-acre, outdoor, earth surface dynamics exhibit. He is also co-investigator for Water Planet, a 5000-square-foot traveling exhibit about water's role in earth's processes. He has contributed to more than 10 earth science textbooks, numerous PBS science programs, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information on the GeoWall, see the GeoWall Consortium Web site. For more information on the Earth Science Seminar Series, contact Dr. Harry Jol, associate professor of geography and anthropology, (715) 836-3472.

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NW

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