This website contains a series of Virtual Tours and related Learning Resources that supplement an introductory Printed Case Study found in the book: Ford, R. E. and J.D. Hipple. 1998. GeoSystems Today: An Interactive Casebook. This material was designed as a supplement to geoscience, earth systems science, geology, geography and environmental science textbooks published by John Wiley and Sons.
The Virtual Tours explore graphically and interactively the biogeophysical processes that have shaped the landscapes along the East African Rift System (EARS). Each virtual tour focuses on a specific sub-region or geoscience process, e.g. volcanism and plate tectonics, limnology, land use and land cover change, biogeography.
The primary regional focus is the Virunga region of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R. Congo) along the Western Rift Valley.
How to Use the Materials and Time Requirements
After reading the Printed Case Study available from John Wiley & Sons take a Virtual Tour (preferably in the order they are presented online) and then test your knowledge by doing the Self-Test Exercises.
Each virtual tour should take no more than 25 - 40 minutes to do and the self-test exercise about 10-20 minutes. Your instructor may ask you to print-off the exercise page and fill-in the answers to be handed-in.
Key Geoscience and Earth Systems Concepts Addressed
The website also contains an extensive set of supplementary learning resources for use by students or instructors as a starting point for specialized projects, classroom presentations, home-work assignments or supplementary reading. The learning resources are organized under the following categories:
Names and contact information on researchers, policy-analysts and other experts or organizations involved with the topics discussed in the case.
Online sources of data and statistical information of various types.
This includes links to existing online glossaries; it also includes an extensive list of geoscience key terms used in the case study both in the print and online sites.
Online sources of photos and graphics related to the region.
Provides pedagogical notes to instructors, including: information on how to promote active learning in the classroom, recommended prior readings, pointers on adaptation of the materials to specific courses or curricula, correlation with the national science standards or benchmarks, answer keys to the self-test exercises, and a mechanism for feedback to the case study contributors and for possible material contribution by the users.
Links to electronic discussion groups on related topics from the region.
Supplementary reference sources and bibliographies.
A short list of videos and films on topics related to the Rift Valley and region as well as information on where and how to get them.
URLs on East African geoscience, ecology, anthropology, sustainable development and related issues found on the World-Wide-Web.