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David Bowman videoconferencing with Minooka High School students. Photo courtesy of the Morris Daily Herald

Seismologist Makes an "Appearance" at His Alma Mater

Bowman Talks Earthquakes With Illinois Students Via Videoconference

March 2, 2010

By Russ L. Hudson

Seismologist David Bowman dropped in on his old high school in Minooka, Ill. – sort of — Feb. 12 to talk to students about the rare earthquake that shook their area Feb. 10. Bowman, chair and associate professor of geological sciences, returned to his alma mater — Minooka Community High School — via videoconference call.

His use of videoconferencing as an educational tool was a first for the high school, but not for Bowman: "I frequently do outreach programs to local schools and enjoy it. It was fun to be able to connect with my own high school. It was also a privilege to speak to a high school geology class, something we rarely see here in California." During a recent high school reunion, Bowman offered to speak to Minooka students if teachers wanted him to. Then the earthquake occurred.

Minooka geology teacher Laurie Tessmer, who worked with Bowman on his presentation, told the Morris Daily Herald, “I thought it was a great opportunity to tie together what the students learned about earthquakes last semester with the recent earthquake.”

The videoconference with Bowman also reminded the high school students in the Village of Minooka, population about 8,000, of what they themselves can strive for, Tessmer explained. “Someone from Minooka can do the job he does and share real world experience,” she said. “I want them to see you don’t have to come from a big city.”

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