A geomorphology field trip to Northwest Indiana Story Map

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05-17-2019 07:04 AM
Esri Frequent Contributor
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I had two goals in creating this geomorphology story map:  (1) To illustrate how story maps can enhance field trips and investigations. I took the opportunity to test the new story maps 2019 tools. (2) To emphasize the importance of fieldwork in education.


Students in a geomorphology course took to the field to learn about drainage divides and landforms created by glacial processes, prevailing winds, rivers, and more. This particular field trip included 4 sites as described in the story map. The case study features Valparaiso University and northwest Indiana landforms, but story maps can enhance any field data gathering experience. Furthermore, I believe that fieldwork is important to many disciplines--geomorphology, geography, environmental studies, biology, engineering, planning, geology, anthropology, archaeology, meteorology, history, sociology, and many more.  Story maps can be used in a variety of ways, as I describe in the map.  The map includes interactive maps showing the study sites, watersheds and rivers, topographic maps, geologic maps, and more. Explore the story map, and I look forward to your comments below.   Then, go create your own story maps!

Geomorphology Field Trip story map

One of the interactive web maps I included in the story map.

One of the interactive maps that I included in the story map.

One of the images I included in the story map.

One of the images and descriptions I included in the story map.

1 Comment
Occasional Contributor II

I like the idea of substituting a Story Map for the traditionally paper field guide for a field trip! Now I'm wondering if there is an easy way to take a Story Map "offline", to deal with field trips where the points of interest are in locations with no cellular data coverage? Is the a simple way to host a Story Map on one's mobile device?

We've been using offline maps in Collector and Explorer to hold our field guide content, which we split up and attach as PDFs, image files, etc. to relevant locations on the map. We also have a master PDF for overview materials, which can be downloaded and read offline in the student's favorite PDF app. A Story Map for that purpose instead, still with links that would open the Collector/Explorer project on the same device to correct location would be great!

About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.