Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-23-2019


Capstone geologic field mapping courses in undergraduate geoscience programs aim to compliment the academic knowledge with technical field skills. As a pilot study, these tools were used to collect field data using folded lower Paleozoic to mid-Paleozoic sedimentary outcrops consisting of clastic, non-clastic and occasional mixed siliciclastics in Rosendale, Ulster County, New York. Rosendale is known for its classic geological outcrops with variable structural, stratigraphic, paleontological and sedimentological complexities – ideal for a field mapping course. Traditionally, students’ data acquisition in the field and its subsequent laboratory analysis to produce a final geologic field report utilized acetate overlays to produce geologic maps, stratigraphic sections, and cross sections. However, the transition into digital mapping has been a challenge due to the limited resources, software access, and adequate technical training. Nevertheless, a recent experiment in utilizing simple-interface softwares such as sedlog, Dplot, and ArcGIS Pro result in additional techniques that enhance data acquisition, graphic representation, and geological interpretation. Employing ArcGIS Pro to initiate geologic field layouts and digital geologic maps enabled students to optimize the accuracy of measurements and geologic correlation of both limited and well-spaced outcrops. Dplot capability of constructing geomorphic profiles to project folding and faulting has provided students with an opportunity to reconstruct the past geological settings and draw conclusions pertaining to the development of the sedimentary basin over time. Constructing stratigraphic type sections via Sedlog generated digital data projections with paleocurrents, sedimentary facies, and stratal thickness. In addition to generating maps and reports suitable for undergraduate research presentation, integrating this software spiked students’ enthusiasm and readiness for conducting geologic fieldwork and, ultimately to pursue higher education and training in geospatial technologies.


This work was originally presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.