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Crow, Ryan1, Paul Weimer1, John Roesink1, Jay Austin1, Richard Couture1, Byron Boyle1, William Hood2, Laura Crossey3, Karl Karlstrom3
(1) University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
(2) Consultant, Grand Junction,
(3) University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

ABSTRACT: Computer Animations in Public Outreach: Geologic Animations in Visitor Centers of National Parks

We have constructed short animations (7-8 minutes) illustrating the geologic evolution of two National Parks: Colorado National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park. These animations have been placed in their respective Visitor Centers for public display. The purpose of the animations is to illustrate two basic concepts for all visitors: geologic time, and the evolution of the surrounding landscape. For each animation, we begin by showing the general location of the Park, fly into the park, and then animate the geologic evolution of the area. The duration of geologic time included in the animation is limited to the exposed geology. Photographs of key geologic landmarks are included throughout the animation as points of reference. Narration has been integrated with the animation.
Our efforts have been coupled with a major educational evaluation of how the public perceives geology and retains key concepts. Front end, formative, and summative evaluations have been done with visitors at the Colorado National Monument and Denver Museum of Nature and Science to assess the effectiveness of these animations. These results of these surveys are presented here.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.