On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Developing Student Understanding of Complex Systems in the Geosciences
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Complex Systems Teaching Activities



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Tracers in the hydrologic cycle: A jigsaw activity part of Teaching Activities
Using a jigsaw approach, students investigate biogeochemical transformations (nitrate, silica, pH and conductivity) of water as it moves through the hydrologic cycle. The resulting conceptual framework facilitates ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Drainage Basins Field Lab part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This field activity and follow-up assignment explores the geomorphology of drainage basins in an active tectonic setting. It introduces basic concepts of drainage basin structure and landscape analysis using ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Using Visual MODFLOW to Simulate Groundwater Flow and Transport part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
Investigate the Dupuit Approximation to describe groundwater flow in an unconfined aquifer, using a computer spreadsheet program and Visual MODFLOW (Waterloo Hydrogeologic, Inc.). The major strength of this ...

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Using Excel for Aquifer Test part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
Entry level undergraduate students who use commercial software packages for aquifer test often feel frustrated and distant from real field test. This session introduces a method of aquifer test using Excel ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Ice Core Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This assignment (for upper-division/graduate students) provides exposure to ice core data, problem-solving to register data sets, technical challenges in data manipulation and statistics, and an opportunity to ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change: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 ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Global Temperatures part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students analyze the global temperature record from 1867 to the present. Long-term trends and shorter-term fluctuations are both evaluated. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
See the activity page for details.

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