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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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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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Finding the Moho under Milwaukee part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
A seismogram was recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Keith Sverdrup during the explosive demolition of a section of the nearby Hoan Bridge on December 28, 2000. The explosive demolition and ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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.

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Cool Cores Capture Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Cool Cores Capture Climate Change
DATA: ANDRILL Sediment Core Data. TOOL: Paleontological Stratigraphic Interval Construction and Analysis Tool (PSICAT). SUMMARY: Create graphic models of sediment cores based on data provided by ANDRILL scientists to demonstrate evidence of climate change over Earth's Geologic Time.

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Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Case Study: Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments
DATA: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Core Data. TOOL: Virtual Ocean. SUMMARY: Locate potential core, log, and seismic data to map the marine sediment biostratigraphy. Search for a specific planktonic foraminifera that prefers warmer ocean conditions.

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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

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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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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 ...

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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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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.

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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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Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This is a short experimental study of several different reagents and what happens to them when they are heated to 110° and 1200° C.

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Igneous Rocks and Tectonics
Allen Glazner, afg@unc.edu Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT ...

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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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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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Earthquake Investigation Workshop: Shake, Rattle, & Rock part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geodesy:Activities
This workshop is part of an NSF-funded effort to provide professional development to STEM teachers in Rhode Island. In this activity, students will make "earthquakes" using a simple model, the earthquake ...

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Intro to Graphing part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:2014 Workshop:Activities
Intro to Graphing is a 2-phase exercise that introduces students to Excel for the purposes of properly storing their data and producing graphs.

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Introduction to well logs for use in the petroleum industry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
This exercise uses a suite of well logs (aka electric logs) to interpret lithology within a stratigraphic section and to determine fluid content within borehole rocks.

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