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Classroom and Lab Activities

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Google Earth Tours of Glacier Change part of Activities
A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years is given in class as an introduction. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour ...

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Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

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Mapping Local Data in a GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:MyMap
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program SUMMARY: Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

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Greenhouse Effect Lab part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Activities
In this lab, students measure temperature changes inside soda bottles (one with CO2 added, the other with only air inside) as incandescent light is shined on them to model the Greenhouse Effect.

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Exploring El Niño part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
In this introductory-level lab activity, students first view a 20-minute portion of an informative video to learn about the operation of an array of moored buoys that is used to detect changes in the El Niño ...

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How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

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Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

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Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

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Pollen and Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Pollen and Climate Change
DATA: Pollen Viewer. TOOLS: Analyzing Digital Images, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Study the relationship between climate and the distribution of plants across North America, import data into spreadsheet and graph.

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Sediments and the Global Carbon Cycle part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
This is a series of exercises designed to introduce undergraduate students to the role of sediments and sedimentary rocks in the global carbon cycle and the use of stable carbon isotopes to reconstruct ancient ...

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Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
Students conduct a greenhouse gas emission inventory for their college or university. Students analyze findings and present information to the college or university community. -

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Modeling the carbon cycle of the anthropocene part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students use an Excel sheet to complete forward and inverse models of changes in carbon distribution between atmosphere, ocean and the biosphere from 1751 to the present and several centuries into the future. The model is given as a mostly complete package, into which students input emissions data in various sensitivity tests.

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Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

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Research project to consider how projected climate change will impact a region of interest to the student part of Activities
Students consult the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chapters on climate projections and the primary scientific literature to write a research paper and present their results to the ...

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Global Warming in 5 Steps part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
Scientists say the planet is warming because of human activities, namely the greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere when burning fossil fuels. But, how do we know? How do scientists know? ...

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Radiocarbon dating project part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is an example of an activity used in a Quaternary Geochronology course, in which a small group of students (3-4) is tasked with transforming a set of activity measurements into radiocarbon ages and calibrated ...

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Northwest Passage part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
An investigation of changes in polar regions using Google Earth.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Sea Ice Extension for the Earth as a System Learning Activity part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
The purpose is to identify global patterns and connections in environmental data contained in the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster; to connect observations made within the Earth Systems Poster to data and information at ...

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Abrupt climate change, greenhouse gases, and the bipolar see-saw part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students work with paleoclimate proxy data (d18O, CH4, CO2)from the Byrd and GISP2 ice cores. Students prepare a graph of paleoclimate data and use the graph to answer several questions about the ...

A Jigsaw Approach to the Weathering Thermostat Hypothesis part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
This activity is part of the community collection of teaching materials on climate and energy topics. These materials were submitted by faculty as part of the CLEAN Climate Workshop, held in June, 2011 and are not ...