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Complex Systems Teaching Activities



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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Modeling Daisyworld part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This activity describes the Daisyworld model in conceptual terms and then describes how to construct a STELLA model of the system. Following this, a series of experiments are outlined, along with questions for ...

Thermal Exhumation Model part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems: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 ...

Stratospheric Ozone part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students explore observational data from ozone-sondes, TOMS, and UARS measurements to learn about changes in stratospheric ozone over the past several decades. -

Daisyworld Model part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students recreate the classic Daisyworld model of Watson and Lovelock (1983). Daisyworld is a planet covered by two species of daisy, one white and one black, whose growth is determined by ...

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.

The Standing Ovation Problem for NetLogo part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
The assignment asks students to construct an agent-based model of a standing ovation. It provides some basic code that allows them to initialize a population of seated event attendees and asks them to consider how ...

Modeling U-Series Concordia/Discordia Using STELLA part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
U-Series dating techniques are widely used to determine the absolute ages of some of Earth's oldest rocks, but the concordia/discordia diagram can be quite difficult for students to grasp. I have produced a STELLA-based lab exercise to develop students' understanding of this important chronologic technique. Students create models of the two isotopic decay systems and run these models to create the concordia diagram. They then carry out experiments in which they "add" or "remove" varying amounts of lead or uranium in simulation of metamorphism. In the course of the lab, students are introduced to the concepts of exponential decay and secular equilibrium as well as modeling concepts such as the creation of if-then statements.

Daisyworld Lab part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students explore a STELLA model of Daisyworld, a self-regulating system incorporating positive and negative feedbacks.

Temperature Profiles in Permafrost part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students use STELLA to create a model of heatflow in permafrost to attempt to replicate the findings of Lachenbruch and Marshall (1986), who used inflections in the geothermal gradient of Alaskan permafrost to search for evidence of climatic change.

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