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Classroom Activities

These classroom and lab activities use data, simulations or modeling to teach geoscience topics. Examples include the use of model output, chemical analyses, remote sensing data, interactive data tools, or large databases.

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Is Greenland Melting? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:GreenlandMelt
DATA: Thickness, velocity, and annual melt extents of the Greenland ice sheet TOOL: My World GIS SUMMARY: Explore map layers to examine annual melting and long-term changes of Greenland's ice sheet.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole
DATA: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Images. TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Animate and explore 10 years of Southern Hemisphere ozone images. Then measure and graph the area of the ozone hole over time.

Investigation of micropaleontological and paleomagnetic data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Micropaleontological and paleomagnetic data are investigated to construct an integrated biomagnetostratigrahic age model for an Ocean Drilling Program site. Investigation emphasizes the complementary nature of ...

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Relative Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Group simulation of the development of the geologic time scale illustrating concepts of correlation and relative time. Extremely effective for teaching the significance of the geologic time scale.

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Using a Mass Balance Model to Understand Carbon Dioxide and its Connection to Global Warming part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students explore the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 40 years with an interactive on-line model.

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From Ocean Topography to Flexural Rigidity part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use the available bathymetric datasets to test the utility of a flexural rigidity model of oceanic crust.

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Quantifying Groundwater Baseflow and Improving Math Skills through a Stream-Discharge Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
A two-part exercise is presented where students quantify stream discharge and use the data to determine groundwater baseflow. They first use tedious hand calculations to compute discharge; then develop their own ...

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

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Using Excel for Aquifer Test part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...

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Environmental Health Risk Inventory part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
In this activity, students perform an environmental health risk inventory of a selected locale. Students will address anthropogenic and natural health risks of an area using data collected from various online ...

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Confirmation of the IPCC Prediction re: Increased Storminess part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
A two-part culminating activity for a meteorology/climatology unit in an Earth Science course centered upon data acquisition and analysis regarding the confirmation of the IPCC predicition regarding increased ...

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Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Topics: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.

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Exploring the Link between Hurricanes and Climate using GCM Results part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This activity requires students to examine global climate model output available online and consider the potential impact of global warming on tropical cyclone initiation and evolution. As a follow-up, students ...

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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...

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An Isograd and Mixed-Volatile Exercise Using Data from the Ubehebe Peak Contact Aureole part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a problem set for an introductory or advanced petrology course. It uses field data to help teach the determination and balancing of mixed-volatile reactions and locating isograds in siliceous dolomites in a ...

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Earthquake Case Study part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.

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Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

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Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

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Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...

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