Geologic structures are inherently three-dimensional. Thus it is important for geologists (both professional and students alike) to be able to picture structures both in 3-d space as well as how they might appear on a 2-d map, and easily toggle between these two different representations. Research suggests there are a variety of different component skills wrapped up in the term "spatial visualization" and that practice improves everyone's visualization skills.
I have been developing a series of instructional materials with Sarah Titus of Carleton College that try to give students frequent practice with different component skills within a geologic context. These exercises take 5-10 minutes of class or laboratory time and are generally focused on map and x-section reading skills and general structural geology problems. In total, we have approximately 25 different exericses of varying levels of difficulty. If you are interested in using these exercises in your class, send me an email.
Last modified 14 February 2011