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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Constraints and Implications of Groundwater Temperature on the Formation of Mississippi Valley-type Zn-Pb Deposits part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This assignment illustrates the role of groundwater in transporting heat and its implications for the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits. The assignment uses a combination of graphs and algebraic equations that ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Thermal Exhumation Model part of Teaching Activities
Build a one-dimensional thermal model in STELLA of rock uplift. Determine how the speed of uplift affects the geotherm and why uplift rates determined from heat flow are often too high. The model demonstrates the ...

Atmospheric methyl chloroform: a leaky water tank example part of Teaching Activities
Atmospheric methyl chloroform concentration is modeled as an extension of the generic water tank structure. Simulated and observed concentrations are used to estimate the global atmospheric lifetime of methyl ...

Hydrologic Cycle and Water Balance Equation part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
The assignment works with the mass balance equation in concert with the hydrologic cycle. Students create both a conceptual model and a mathematical model to represent the hydrologic cycle for a basin.

Visualizing the Shields Parameter part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
The Shields parameter is a fundamental dimensionless variable that embodies the complex factors that interact to initiate motion on a sediment bed. Many students have trouble grasping this (and most other) ...

Hurricane Tracking part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Teaching Activities
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

Interactive Model Problem Set part of Teaching Activities
This is a problem set for the course Modeling and Assessment for Policy (graduate course at MIT). It is designed to enable students to use interactive models and reflect on their use in a policy context. It relates ...

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