Project Details

This was a three year innovation project (2017-2020) led by the University of Portsmouth, funded by the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 Programme: Cooperation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices, a European scheme that fosters higher education partnerships. The aim of the project was to develop virtual reality teaching resources to help improve our understanding of different types geohazards in the terrestrial and offshore environments. The project was a trans-European undertaking, with 13 partners across five European countries, including academic institutions, national government agencies and industry experts.

Project Background

Funded by Erasmus+, the project will focus on the use and integration of terrestrial remotely piloted airborne systems (drone) imagery and submarine remotely operated vehicle data for the combined study of geohazards in terrestrial and marine environments, through a programme of data sharing, scientific and technical collaboration and ultimately curriculum development at postgraduate level to help students develop advanced skills in these areas. The aim of the project is to develop a series of very high resolution 3D virtual reality models of geohazards observed in the onshore and offshore environment using data acquired from airborne drone and submersible platforms that can be used in classrooms to teach about onshore and offshore environments as a continuum.

To facilitate this, the project aims to develop a series of toolkits to allow students to navigate these environments using virtual reality headsets, map and measure features on the ground surface and seabed to simulate real field mapping activities; and then export features they have identified for further analysis in other software such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Our project will create a digital platform where terrestrial and seafloor data and virtual reality visualisation tools will be openly distributed to allow for the processing and visualisation of terrestrial and seafloor environment focused on natural hazards. The project will deliver teaching toolkits to partner the data, to develop firstly, observational and mapping skills (in the terrestrial and submarine environments) and secondly, a critical understanding of differences between geohazards in terrestrial and seafloor environments. From this, we will present a curriculum design that can form a framework for environmental and geoscience postgraduate course provision and training across Europe to tackle the skills shortage in environment and geoscience sectors.

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