10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Increasing geoheritage awareness through non-formal learning 

Paola Coratza, Alessandro Ghinoi, and Vittoria Vandelli
Paola Coratza et al.
  • University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, Modena, Italy (paola.coratza@unimore.it)

Despite the increasing interest of society in environmental issues, a broad absence of Earth Science literacy is registered in the general population. Non-formal learning can play a crucial role in increasing citizens literacy to geoscience concepts and in this context geomorphological heritage sites, due to their characteristics, can be valuable resources to be used to rise public profile of geology and geomorphology.
Starting from these remarks, this presentation illustrates the research carried out in the municipality of Castellarano (Emilia Apennines, Northern Italy) where non-formal learning activities have been carried out in the framework of a project aiming to enhance the geological heritage and geodiversity of this area. In particular, three geosites of regional significance located along a cycle/pedestrian path were object of attention for the creation of Earthcaches, educational panels and guided excursions. The selected geosites are located along the Secchia riverbed and are witnesses of the long and complex geological-geomorphological history, and its influence on human development, in the study area. Earthcaches, following the Geological Society of America (GSA) guidelines, were designed to be educational, providing accurate but non-technical explanations of the geomorphological features that visitors can experience at the sites. In design educational panels particular attention was given to illustrations, i.e. photos, area images, maps and comics, because they play an important role in the learning process. The effectiveness of the designed materials has been tested in the frameworks of guided excursions organised by the municipality and have been proved as positive contributions for raising public awareness of the value of geoheritage.

How to cite: Coratza, P., Ghinoi, A., and Vandelli, V.: Increasing geoheritage awareness through non-formal learning , 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-309, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-309, 2022.