Unexpected Autumn Snow Leads to Unexpected Geology Lessons

The record October snow event last Friday left many of us scrambling to get through the day.

Snow tires on yet? Nope.

Winter boots, coat, gloves and hat? Still buried in the hall closet, thank you.

While many of us were slow to warm up to the early-season storm, Nigel Davies from the EWU Geology Department saw a great opportunity for a mini lecture as he watched the snow and ice pile up outside the science building.

The creative instructional technician handles most of the social media for the department. And he tells InsideEWU, it just so happens his “long love of de-snowing any railing I see” makes him naturally think of something like thrust faults or accretionary prisms.

Davies’ online lesson wasn’t done when the storm passed. Saturday’s freeze created the perfect storm for yet another lesson.

Davies’ philosophy is simple—keep the videos brief, only present one scientific concept per post, and keep it local and timely while linking in something related to Cheney or Spokane if possible. He also tries to include EWU student or alumni work or research when he can. And with most classes online now, he strives to make the mini lessons useful.

The biggest key? “One take, and adlib,” says Davies. And most of all, “have fun with it.”

His virtual efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Among the many retweets and comments, he received this shout-out on twitter from EWU interim President David May.

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