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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.

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 GLOBE Data to Study the Earth System part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Using GLOBE Data to Study Earths System
DATA: Student-collected environmental data TOOL: GLOBE Online Graphing Tool SUMMARY: explore, graph, and compare data from the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program.

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The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
Students draw conclusions about the extent to which multiple decades of temperature data about Phoenix suggest that a shift in local climate is taking place as opposed to exhibiting nothing more than natural ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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In Search of GLOBE Data part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
Students use on-line GLOBE search tools to locate and display data from schools and use the data to answer questions regarding weather and climate. Answer key provided.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Detecting El Niño in Sea Surface Temperature Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:PMEL
DATA: Sea Surface Temperature (SST). TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Examine 15 years of SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Create and analyze average SST maps to identify El Nino and La Nina events.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Richmond's Urban Heat Island part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Urban Geology:Activities
Students will be asked questions regarding the causes and impacts of the UHI. They will also be asked to apply this knowledge to two real-world settings and analyze data collected at both locations.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunami Suite contains five case studies organized around understanding the potential for large earthquakes and ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Exercise 8: Using LiDAR and GPS data to model the water table in ArcScene part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Tutorial for using the new LiDAR tools (LAS dataset and LAS toolbar) in ArcGIS 10.1 (Acrobat (PDF) 13.8MB Nov6 13). Same LiDAR Tutorial as a Word doc (Microsoft Word ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Volcanoes Around the Globe part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

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.

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.

Unit 1: Hazards, vulnerability and risk part of Map your Hazards!
Students will identify and apply credible geologic and social science data sets to identify local hazards and vulnerable groups and structures, and assess risk for their community.

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students explore the critical role phytoplankton play in the marine food web. -

Unit 2: Perception of hazards, vulnerability and risk part of Map your Hazards!
Students will collect and analyze relevant social data on individual and community knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their local social networks.

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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