EGU23-12309, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Report on our hybrid online/on-site field trip: Reconstructing Earth’s past climate from the sedimentary record. 

Virginia Toy, Friedrich Hawemann, Martina Kirilova, Selina Fenske, and Jan Thomann
Virginia Toy et al.
  • Institut für Geowissenschaften, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany. (

In August 2022, we organized a hybrid course within the European Universities “FORTHEM” Alliance, which integrated virtual and on-site teaching techniques, testing various didactic concepts that allowed simultaneous, collaborative work by groups of on-line and on-site students.

The field area is located in Molinos, Teruel province of eastern Spain, where a spectacular fossil-rich Jurassic-Cretaceous sedimentary sequence is exposed. The record mainly comprises marine units, which reveal changes in depositional environment that reflect paleoclimate changes. However, the area is extensively folded and faulted, and thus the tectonic deformation needs to be unraveled in order to determine the original depositional sequences.

The two groups of students worked on the same challenges but on different scales. The exchange of field and digital observations between students facilitated a holistic understanding of the local geology. The on-site participants performed traditional geological mapping, focusing on definition of units with different sedimentological characteristics and fossil assemblages, definition of a stratigraphic sequence and characterization of the geological structures that affect its continuity. In the field, these students learned how to use a geologic database (StraboSpot) on their phones or tablets for easy exchange of data, and were given a short introduction in the use of UAVs and photogrammetry.

On-line participants examined 3D models of outcrops and macrofossils, some constructed by the on-site participants, and carried out digital geological mapping with the aid of satellite images. They were able to provide a broader context for the outcrop-scale observations made by the on-site students, and carry out literature review for interpretation of the observed geological unit characteristics.

The two groups met in a hybrid classroom by video conference from 8-10pm daily, to share the outcomes of their days’ work and obtain instructions for the next day. The greatest challenges were logistical, related to establishing and maintaining a classroom environment in a region of poor internet reception. This required large time input from the teaching staff. Nevertheless, in general, the blended learning approach yielded more significant outcomes than would have been possible with only one of the participant groups. 

Acknowledgements: PlaneSight Online: Phillip Seelos, Steffen Abe, Hagen Deckert. V3Geo models: Simon Buckley, Conor Lewis. Molinos geology: Till Sachau, Paul Bons, Carlos Martinez-Perez, Sonia Ros-French, Fabrizio Pepe.



How to cite: Toy, V., Hawemann, F., Kirilova, M., Fenske, S., and Thomann, J.: Report on our hybrid online/on-site field trip: Reconstructing Earth’s past climate from the sedimentary record. , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12309,, 2023.