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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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How do Faults Slip: Earthquakes versus Episodic Tremor and Slip part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
A comparison of earthquakes and episodic tremor and slip using GPS and seismic data to illustrate how faults slip.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Carbon Dioxide Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Exploring Seafloor Topography part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Sea Floor
DATA: Digital Elevation Model Data. TOOL: GeoMapApp. SUMMARY: Explore a timeline about how we have learned about the oceans. Construct a profile across the Atlantic Ocean and create 3-D visualizations of the seafloor.

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Annotating Change in Satellite Images
DATA: Landsat Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Examine time-series images that show landuse changes in China. Produce a map documenting how human activities have changed the coastline.

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Cpx Geobarometer
Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 4, 2005 Description This exercise is based on the recent formulation of a geobarometer ...

Order/Disorder Within Crystal Structures as a Function of Temperature part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Olivine Structure at High Temperatures
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description The olivine unit cell. Crystallographic sites house Si (black), O (red), and the M1 (brown) ...

Reading Time Series Plots part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

Visualizing Sun Position of the Seasons part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
The goal of the exercise is to help students visualize and better understand how the sun changes apparent position over the course of the seasons.

Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Identifying Minerals Using Chemical and Crystallographic Data
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and ...

Unit 6: Groundwater Availability and Resources part of Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources
Students will utilize the desert Southwest region of the United States and the Ogallala Aquifer in a case study to evaluate issues regarding groundwater and its scarcity. Groundwater is often seen as a limitless ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Unit 4: Using SoilWebTMto Investigate the Soil Beneath You part of A Growing Concern
Students will use SoilWeb™, a smartphone and web application that pulls detailed soil survey data from both the 1:24,0000 Soil Survey Geographic database (SSURGO) and the 1:250,000 scale State Soil Geographic ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Forecasting Lake Effect Snow in Lake Superior region part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This exercise is designed to present the realistic problems of forecasting weather. Lake effect snows are hard to forecast because they depend on information that isn't part of the regular set of information ...

Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes: A GIS Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Students make hypotheses about how hurricane numbers, locations, or intensities have been changing, and then use hurricane tracks, wind speed, barometric pressure, and dates to test their hypotheses.

Adopt a Blob part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
Blobs are everywhere in the deep Earth! Students will adopt a "blob" and develop the various associated observable anomalies for it (tomography, gravity, etc). There could also be a potential for students ...

Unit 4: Hurricane Impacts part of Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
This unit has three options for 40-minute activities that address hurricane impacts. Alternatively, if time allows, all three could be used in sequence. Activity 4.1 includes a presentation on the terrestrial ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Tsunami of the North Atlantic Ocean part of Integrate:Workshops:Coastal Hazards, Risk, and Environmental Justice:Activities
In this assignment students plot the tectonic setting, major cities, and economic centers of the Atlantic Ocean. They consider tsunami triggers and whether they are relevant. Students are presented with three ...

Using Lab Measurements to Determine the Feasibility of a Photovoltaic Panel part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Using Lab Measurements to determine the power output of a solar module and the economic feasibility of photovoltaic panels

Exploring phyllosilicate structures with polyhedral models part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
In this exercise, students build polyhedral models to learn about phyllosilicate structures and how they relate to physical properties. This directed-discovery activity is a very 'hands-on' experience ...

Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and entered into XtalDraw or CrystalMaker visualization software program. Step-by-step tutorials are provided with ...

Olivine Crystal Structure part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
In this exercise, students use the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database and a crystallographic visualization program such as Xtaldraw or CrystalMaker to study the temperature-dependent ordering of Mg ...