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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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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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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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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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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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Harker Diagrams part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of volcanic ...

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Determining Mantle Temperature and Composition from Discontinuities part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
This pair of activities uses observations of mantle discontinuity structure to examine mantle heterogeneity and differences in the depth extent of melt sources for ridges and "hotspots." The first ...

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Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge:Manage Your Career:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This computer-based assignment forces students to compare and contrast integral and differential forms of the conservation of mass equation, as well as analytical and numerical approaches to solution. Students are ...

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Using GIS to estimate the volume of snow and water in a drainage basin part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Todd Rayne, Hamilton College Summary This activity uses field measurements and GIS to estimate the volume of water in the form of snow in a field site. Context Type and level of course I use this in a ...

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Wooster Case Study - Capture Curve Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
This Excel based exercise has students calculate the shape of the capture zone of a contaminant recovery well. Students perform a sensitivity analysis by varying aquifer and pumping parameters to observe the impact ...

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Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

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Watershed area and discharge relationships part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Students use USGS WaterData website to find data on area, average annual discharge and response to high-precip events in small watersheds in southern New England. Data for the class are compiled to generate graphs ...

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Abrupt climate change, greenhouse gases, and the bipolar see-saw part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students work with paleoclimate proxy data (d18O, CH4, CO2)from the Byrd and GISP2 ice cores. Students prepare a graph of paleoclimate data and use the graph to answer several questions about the ...

Plotting Florida River Data Using Excel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is used to prepare students to analyze data they will collect during their group project. It familiarizes students with previously collected data, and builds skills graphing and interpreting data.

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) ...

Using the EXCEL Woburn Flow and Transport Model to Teach Modeling Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Modeling ties together many subjects taught in an introductory hydrogeology course. The goals of this activity are for students to learn why scientists and engineers use models, what types of models are commonly ...

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 ...

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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 ...

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