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Abstract

Geologists as a group have and use above-average spatial thinking skills to interpret and communicate complex geologic structures. Interpretation challenges, especially with petroleum industry subsurface targets, come from abundant but still ambiguous data volumes, challenging geologic forms, powerful but difficult-to-learn software, and under prepared staff. In June 2013, 70 participants met in Reno to discuss these and related issues and to explore how spatial cognitive science can help us better understand and develop geologic interpretation skills, software tools, and education strategies. Industry interpreters and trainers, academic structural geologists, software developers, and cognitive scientists brought complementary perspectives to three days of presentations, posters, and discussions, plus a field day with interactive interpretation modules. This Hedberg conference provided new shared insights to the interpretation process, ideas for improving skill development, and abundant opportunities for further collaboration.

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