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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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Pollen and Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Pollen and Climate Change
DATA: Pollen Viewer. TOOLS: Analyzing Digital Images, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Study the relationship between climate and the distribution of plants across North America, import data into spreadsheet and graph.

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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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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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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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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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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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Floods on the Minnesota River part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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Accessing Streamflow Data via the Worldwide Web part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geodesy:Activities
The objectives of this exercise are to (a) use the worldwide web to access hydrologic data, and (b) compare precipitation/runoff characteristics in different regions of the USA.

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Is There a Trend in Hurricane Number or Intensity? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This lab guides students through an examination of the hurricane record to determine if there is a trend in hurricane intensity over the past 40 years and introduces some issues related to statistics and ...

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How Fast Do Materials Weather? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
A think-pair-share activity in which students calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data. -

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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.

Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to the ...

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Radioactive Decay and Geochronology part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students create a STELLA model of the radioactive decay process.

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Research Experiences in a Mineralogy Class part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Dave Mogk, Montana State University Summary One of the goals of my Mineralogy class is to demonstrate how the principles and content covered in class can be applied to questions of geologic interest or that have ...

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Two streams, two stories... How Humans Alter Floods and Streams part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity/lab where students determine the changes in 100-year flood determinations for 2 streams over time.

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Using Visual MODFLOW to Simulate Groundwater Flow and Transport part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...

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Gulf Stream Heat Budget and Europe part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
Student groups are presented a problem scenario to research and make recommendations, predictions, and a resolution of the problem based on data and visualizations.

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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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Sea Ice Extension for the Earth as a System Learning Activity part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
The purpose is to identify global patterns and connections in environmental data contained in the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster; to connect observations made within the Earth Systems Poster to data and information at ...

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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 ...