EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Geotopes as a tool for geoscience teaching and outreach 

Anke M Friedrich
Anke M Friedrich
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Geology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, München, Germany (

Traditional geological field education includes organized trips of large student groups to geological outcrops. Typically, instructors guide students to outcrops and give (mini-) lectures. The students’ notes consist of the provided verbal summaries instead of one’s sketches and descriptions of outcrops, often leading to poor reports. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic prevented group travel to geological sites, which halted such forms of teaching. To continue field education despite the contact restrictions, I designed an alternative way of field-based learning through proactive engagement of students in trip planning, site selection, outcrop study, discussion, and report writing. The concept involves (1) geotope sites provided by survey offices (e.g., Geotoprecherche LfU Bayern) because they contain precise outcrop locations and just the right amount of relevant geological information allowing students to visit geotopes of their interest on their own. It also involves (2) a shared project on GOOGLE EARTH WEB to which students post field photos, sketches, and text, which they present in (3) in the weekly zoom-seminars (geotope seminar). Instructors provide feedback and stimulate discussion among participants based on the presented field observations. The resulting sketches and reports are of higher quality because they are exclusively based on the student’s concentrated work at the outcrop (only 2 per day). However, no instructor accompanied any student in the field. The geotope seminar accommodates day trips, multi-day field exercises, and mapping projects for geoscience students of all ages and interests. Geotope courses could be offered to the broader public if safe site access is secured.

How to cite: Friedrich, A. M.: Geotopes as a tool for geoscience teaching and outreach , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-16110,, 2023.