Seequent launches free web app to help combat global shortage of earth scientists

Seequent launches free web app to help combat global shortage of earth scientists

Seequent, The Bentley Subsurface Company headquartered in Ōtautahi Christchurch, today launched Visible Geology, a free web application to teach earth science students how the earth works – in 3D.

Seequent, New Zealand’s largest software solutions company and a former Hi-Tech Company of the Year, engaged game development studio CerebralFix, whose clients include Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks, to build the Visible Geology app. Together, they have created an immersive, intuitive gaming experience that is set to transform the way earth science students are taught the key concepts of geology.

Geology is a foundational science for understanding the earth. The app moves beyond traditional 2D and paper-based teaching methods into immersive 3D modelling in the cloud via a simple, intuitive interface. Anyone with access to the internet can access Visible Geology for free – no subscription required.

Seequent Chief Executive Graham Grant said: “Everyone at Seequent is passionate about inspiring the next generation of earth scientists. We know how critical earth scientists are to understanding the earth’s resources and solving some of the world’s most urgent and complex challenges – from climate resilience to the energy transition. With falling enrolments and older professionals retiring, there is a workforce crisis ahead that is set to impact our way of life. That’s why we have taken our world-leading expertise in earth science software and brought in gaming experts CerebralFix to build Visible Geology and have decided to make it available to everyone, for free.”

Around the globe, universities are reporting a significant decline in earth science enrolments and courses are being cut. Australia has witnessed a 40% slump in geoscience students completing degrees in the last eight years, and in 2020 the UK reported a 43% decrease in students studying geology since 2014. The American Geosciences Institute has reported a workforce deficit of 130,000 geoscientists in the US by 2030.

CerebralFix Co-Chief Executive Chelsea Rapp said: “Video games have an incredible ability to transform education by blending immersive experiences with interactive learning. They are much more than just entertainment; applications like Visible Geology are dynamic tools that empower learners to explore and experiment in ways that traditional methods cannot match.”

University of Canterbury Geology Lecturer Dr Kate Pedley was part of the Visible Geology testing process with her students and is already incorporating Visible Geology into her undergraduate courses. Dr Pedley said: “Visible Geology is intuitive and easy to use. Students can play around with it and have a bit of fun and it builds understanding in a way that complicated 2D maps can’t. Visible Geology builds a bridge for students to the professional geoscience software they will use in their careers.”

Visible Geology complements Seequent’s academic program, an international network of students, educators, and researchers using Seequent’s professional software for low or no cost to advance our understanding of the earth at more than 500 leading universities.

An image of a 3D model of Te Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour created in Visible Geology.

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