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April 19, 2005
University Welcomes Paul Morin - GeoWall Lecturer


The University welcomes Paul Morin from the University of Minnesota's Department of Geology and Geophysics, to lecture on GeoWall- a technology for visualizing in three dimensions. Morin is the 2004-2005 Distinguished Speaker for the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. His lecture will be held on Friday, May 6 at 4:00 p.m. in Hadley Auditorium in the Dunlap Technology Center.

A good understanding of spatial relationships is a fundamental requirement in the study of the Earth Sciences. Traditional teaching methods have strongly relied on the 2D representations through maps and profiles that are occasionally augmented by physical models. Although most earth scientists have been trained to understand the 3D structure from such representations, the extrapolation requires spatial thinking skills that are difficult to learn and often form a stumbling block for students at the introductory level.

The GeoWall mission is to broaden the use of scientific visualization tools for Earth Science research and education by the use of low cost virtual reality visualization devices.

Morin 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. His work has led to the development of the GeoWall, an inexpensive low end virtual reality system now used at over 70 undergraduate institutions around the world. Morin is also contributing to the Science Museum of Minnesota's Big Back Yard, a 1.2 acre, outdoor biogeomorphology exhibit. He has contributed to over 10 earth science textbooks, numerous PBS science programs, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The lecture is sponsored by the University's Department of Natural and Applied Science and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. It is free and open to the public.