Reported January 2011
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- What do you know about tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides or even beach erosion? And why do these events matter to all of us? A Penn State Geologist is answering that question by showing how geology "rocks."
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Richard Alley will be the first to tell you he is not a professional musician.
"I sing hideously badly!" Richard Alley, a geologist and professor at Penn State University, said.
But the professor plays one on the Internet in a series of musical parodies that have gone viral, getting thousands of hits on YouTube.
The song 'Submarine Beaches' highlights the problem of beach erosion. Attention-grabbing? Absolutely. But Alley himself will tell you this is no stunt. This internationally known expert in ice and climate developed the class for the average student. The goal is keep it interesting and make it relevant.
Armed with his guitar, and with the help of a university video crew, Alley introduced his Geoscience 10 class, the geology of the national parks. Students can do the course online, where they take a virtual tour of the parks, and learn about the wonders of nature as parodied by the professor.
"It’s really a tour through how the earth works, what its history is, and how we live on it and what matters to us," Alley said.
Alley says it's important that students grasp how our actions can have a global impact.
Just like the planet, Alley says his course is constantly evolving. He also says the 600 openings for his class fill up each semester it is offered.
The American Geophysical contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Professor of Geosciences
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA
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