Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is to exploit web technology to provide a tool that is not possible in a textbook, to target concepts which are traditionally challenging for students, to be minimalist in the construction so that this site is flexible enough to be used for different learning levels.

The Design So Far

We developed this site to supplement a laboratory course in Geological History at Valdosta State University. Each location was chosen to represent a specific geologic process. There is no preferred order — start where you wish. (NOTE: so far, only Grandeur Point, West Temple and Boysen are available. The other locations will be open soon.) Each location (Grandeur Point, West Temple, Frenchman, Loop Mountain, Boysen Peak, Palisades, Sawtooth Ridge) is divided into subsections: Geologic Column (an overview of sediment layers), Geologic History (processes of deposition and erosion), Gallery (aerial photos linked to ground photos), and Basic Ideas (elementary processes specific to each location). We have tried to make the navigation so that once inside a location, the user can enter any of the three subsections from anywhere and easily switch among them.

Geologic Column shows a stack (drawing) of all sedimentary layers present at a given location. Clicking on the layers will show representative photographs of the site. The photos have buttons which draw boundaries around the specific sediments. (This is available so far only for Grandeur Point.)

Geologic History shows how, step by step, the sediments were laid down during each geologic period. On some pages the last button will reveal picture frames which lead to photos of the sediments indicated. The user can step through history using the arrow navigation buttons or, instead, move through the pages in any order using the history buttons on the left. The history buttons are also available from inside the Geologic Column subsection.

The Gallery of each location shows aerial photos of the larger region. Boxes show the user where the photos were taken. Clicking on a box delivers the reader to the specific location and buttons reveal zoom views and boundaries around different layers. (This is available so far only for West Temple.)

Each location has its own Basic Ideas section which contains resources important to the given location. For example: symbols used, abbreviations, and macroscopic photos and thin sections of rock types. There are also animations which show basic processes; for Grandeur Point, for example,we have animations showing deposition, erosion, transgression, regression.

How to use this site

We have tried to make navigation as simple and intuitive as possible. However, a good strategy to keep in mind is to move the cursor all over the page to find hotspots you might have missed.

If you have comments or suggestions for improving this site, we would be most appreciative to hear from you.

Dr Edward Chatelain, Geologist-Designer, echatela@valdosta.edu
Dr C. Barnbaum, Programmer-Designer, cbarnbau@valdosta.edu

Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698-0055

tel: (229) 333-5752
fax: (229) 219-1201