Geologic Displays as Science and Art

  • Marjorie A. Chan
Part of the Innovations in Science Education and Technology book series (ISET, volume 20)


Intriguing and innovative displays presenting geology as both science and art have profound power to teach, inspire, and engage students and visitors. In an academic geoscience building, example novel designs include an overall river theme relevant to the local physiography, museum-like displays of rock slabs and fossils, and eco-friendly installations that encourage sustainable practices. Positive outcomes include increased visitation, raised department visibility, more energized and enthusiastic faculty and students, a sense of pride and community, and donations to the educational mission. A changing focus from traditional architecture to integrated design elements can capitalize on visual materials to inspire the next generations of earth scientists. Geologic displays as science and art have a rejuvenating effect on the academic endeavors of teaching and research and leave a legacy that extends beyond traditional walls.


Earth Science Rock Slab Campus Building Wonderful Diversity Academic Building 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to the design team that helped instill and develop innovative displays: John Diamond (NCARB) and Lee Phillips-Diamond, principals of Diamond Phillips. Their creativeness was key in developing many concepts of an experiential environment. I thank the following individuals who were instrumental in the display process and planning: Desslie Andreason, Erich Petersen, Tony Ekdale, Barbara Nash, Kris Pankow, Bill Johnson, and Matt Heumann. Many other Department of Geology and Geophysics faculty and students at the University of Utah also were key at many steps of the process. Frank Brown, Dean of the College of Mines and Earth Science, was the ultimate overseer and leader of the Sutton building construction and its budget. John C. McNary, Director of Campus Planning at the University of Utah, and his architectural staff were key supporters in catching and implementing the vision for applying this design approach campus wide. M. Dane Picard and two anonymous reviewers provided constructive comments and editing for this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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