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Classroom and Lab Activities

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Using Dendrochronology to Determine the Age and Past Environments of the Black Forest Region, Colorado, USA part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
The use of dendrochronology in determining the geologic history of a location. The development of an understanding how tree growth can indicate the relationships between climate, geomorphology, ecology and archeology.

Case Study 2.1 - Climate Variability in the Equatorial Pacific part of Climate of Change
This activity engages students in examining tropical Pacific pressure, sea-surface temperature, and precipitation data over a 10 year time span. Students work in groups to understand a data set, then debrief as a ...

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Case Study 3.2 - Exploring Patterns: ENSO on the Global Stage part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to allow students who have become somewhat familiar with the El NiÃo-Southern Oscillation to explore the reality of ocean surface temperature data. Students analyze a time series of SST ...

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Case Study 5.2 - Interpretations: Reading the Book of Earth part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to provide students with a comprehensive experience working with real climate data. Students graph, analyze, and critically interpret ice core data from Greenland. You can implement this ...

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Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan deals with coral reefs and the recent crisis of coral bleaching. It suggests that students engage in a role-playing debate about modifying human activity to protect reefs. -

Energy Balance Climate Model: Stella Mac and PC part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Students explore a Global Energy Balance Climate Model Using Stella II. Response of surface temperature to variations in solar input, atmospheric and surface albedo, atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide, ...

Unit 1 Forecasting Climate Variability and Change: A Matter of Survival part of Climate of Change
An Introduction to Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Climate Impacts This unit is designed to engage students in the topics of climate variability and climate change by introducing them to impacts of ...

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Case Study 6.1- Adapting to a Changing World part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider how several communities are adapting to climate change-related problems including drought's impacts on agriculture, loss of assets due to climate-related hazards, freshwater ...

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The Lifestyle Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
This three-week project challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles. Throughout the project, students reduce their impacts on the environment by changing the way in which they live from day to day.

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Case Study 5.1 - Interactions: Climate's Tangled Web part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity as a role-playing game to help students understand both the concept of climate modeling and how the climate system works. Students take on the role of a climate system component, examining ...

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Hurricane Tracking part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a homework assignment that focuses student attention on ongoing hurricane/tropical storm development, often during the height of hurricane season. The students are directed to a web site (I like ...

Hurricane Investigation part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a simple homework assignment that will reinforce topics discussed in lecture as well as enabling students to search and analyze information on the web.

Mapping Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise at Point Reyes National Seashore part of Pedagogy in Action:Partners:Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Geology of National Parks:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum/Geology of National Parks module. Students work with a color-coded conditional-formatted spreadsheet map to work through a USGS report applying a coastal vulnerability index.

Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

Tropical Cyclones and Global Change part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a full semester project focusing on tropical cyclones and climate change for my undergraduate tropical meteorology class. It consists of five parts, outlined below.

Analyzing Hurricanes part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
The exercise uses GIS to explore historical data on hurricanes (path, strength, name). Students identify trends in hurricane records, the impact of hurricanes on major U.S. cities, and how hurricanes change through ...

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.

Modeling Global Climate Change part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This activity explores the role of energy in global climate change. Students explore netlogo models of climate, and learn about cumulative effects.

California Climate: Pacific Ocean Connection part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
I use this lesson as a group assignment in my Earth Science classes. In the face-to-face and field studies classes, the groups present their findings/and recommendations to the class on the last meeting day.

Faint Young Sun, Radiocarbon dating part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This problem set follows lectures and readings on (1) the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the greenhouse effect in an n-layer atmosphere and (2) radiometric dating. The goal is for the students to apply equations ...