Library:Scholarly Communications/Innovative Dissemination of Research Award/2013

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2013: Geophysics student wins Research Dissemination Award

Dr. John W. Hepburn, left, Vice President Research & International at UBC, and Rowan Cockett, recipient of the 2013 Innovative Dissemination of Research Award.

A Masters of Science student in Geophysics is the 2013 recipient of UBC Library’s Innovative Dissemination of Research Award. This award honours UBC faculty, staff and students who expand the boundaries of research through the creative use of new tools and technologies.

Rowan B. Cockett’s submission, entitled Visible Geology, came from a desire to improve the way geoscience research is disseminated to undergraduate students. It involves an interactive, web-based application designed to enhance the visualization of geologic structures and processes through the use of interactive 3D diagrams.

The program allows users to conceptualize difficult yet important geologic principles by creating and interacting with geologic block models. The visualization software is mainly used to assist with paper-based activities such as geologic mapping. These traditional assignments often put students who do not have practice with 3D visualization and spatial manipulation at a disadvantage. Visible Geology allows students to practice their visualization skills and create their own models and terrains, an interactive and immersive experience that employs video, animation and images.

Visible Geology has been praised by the geography community. Since November 2011, thousands of unique visitors have created their own geologic block models using Visible Geology, which is also used for introductory and structural geology classes. At an international geosciences conference in July 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Cockett won an outstanding student award for geoscience education.

Cockett was formally recognized at a UBC research awards reception on March 25, 2013.