March 17, 2020

It’s a great time to take a virtual field trip

Posted by larryohanlon

By Larry O’Hanlon

Spring in the northern hemisphere is the time for students pile into vans with camping gear, rock hammers, pocket transits and field notebooks, and head out to explore the marvels of the Earth’s surface. It is a wonderful part of learning Earth science. But those trips are off as another kind of science — epidemiology — takes precedence. Luckily for students today, the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean they have to lose every aspect of field trips. Virtual field trips like those highlighted below are a way for students to experience geology, and at very least prime them for the real thing, when we’re all on the other side of the current societal crisis.

To help out, we have assembled some highlights of AGU-related virtual field trip content. More than 40 virtual field trips can found in the AGU Blogosphere by entering “virtual field trip” into the search bar. If you want to share yours, please tweet it at us with the hashtag #virtualfieldtrip or email us at [email protected].

Streetcar 2 Subduction: Streetcar 2 Subduction is a collection of geological field trips that take users to some of the world-class geological sites of the San Francisco Bay Area.


A virtual field trip to the Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains of Arizona, by Callan Bentley. 


Self-Guided Tour of the Geology in D. C. Buildings, by Lily Strelich


Mafic volcanics atop felsic instrusives: Sonora Pass, California, by Callan Bentley 


Timberville quadrangle, VA, by CallanBentley


Tearing through California Part 1: the Central San Andreas, by Austin Elliott


Google Street Views,  by Laura Guertin


The Ten Mile Time Machine, by Dan Satterfield


We Probably Should Have Waterproofed That: Welcome to Dominica!  By the Clemson Geopaths Team


For great Italian geology, go to church, by Jessica Ball

Larry O’Hanlon is a freelance science writer in New Mexico. He manages the AGU Blogosphere.