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Teaching with Data, Simulations and Models
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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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Forecasting Lake Effect Snow in Lake Superior region part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Tropical Cyclones, Sea Surface Temperature, and Beyond part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
The activity will use historical data of sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone origin and/or tracks to identify trends. Students use Arc GIS to explore projected SST changes and predict areas where tropical ...

Hurricane Tracking part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a homework assignment that focuses student attention on ongoing hurricane/tropical storm development, often during the height of hurricane season. The students are directed to a web site (I like ...

Case Study 4.2- Predicting Glacial Futures part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students predict rates of change using recent data from marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland. They calculate the average rate of area change for a set of 34 glaciers from 2001 to 2009 ...

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Case Study 3.1 - Predicting Patterns: What Does La Niña Look Like? part of Climate of Change
This activity is designed to allow students who have been exposed to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation to analyze the La Niña mechanism and predict its outcomes. Students create an SST map for La Niña and both ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Case Study 2.1 - Climate Variability in the Equatorial Pacific part of Climate of Change
This activity engages students in examining tropical Pacific pressure, sea-surface temperature, and precipitation data over a 10 year time span. Students work in groups to understand a data set, then debrief as a ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Case Study 4.1- Reflecting on What is Happening to Greenland's Ice part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider Greenland reflectivity changes from 2000 to 2012. Some students receive yearly albedo data for low elevations, while other students receive high-elevation data. After each ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Case Study 2.2 - Climate Variability in the North Atlantic part of Climate of Change
This activity walks students through a data set depicting climate variability in the North Atlantic, associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NOA). Students examine anomalies of precipitation and pressure ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Case Study 5.2 - Interpretations: Reading the Book of Earth part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to provide students with a comprehensive experience working with real climate data. Students graph, analyze, and critically interpret ice core data from Greenland. You can implement this ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
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Case Study 3.2 - Exploring Patterns: ENSO on the Global Stage part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to allow students who have become somewhat familiar with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation to explore the reality of ocean surface temperature data. Students analyze a time series of SST ...

InTeGrate Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process.
Learn more about this review process.

Acoustic Waves and Seismac part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
The students will expand on their knowledge of acoustic signals (from class lectures and book readings) by watching videos and doing an in-class exercise with the seismac program.

Exploring Air Quality in Aura NO2 Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Aura
DATA: NASA Aura nitrogen dioxide data. TOOL: Google Earth. SUMMARY: Learn about photochemical smog. Explore the relationships among human population density, nitrogen dioxide concentrations, and geography.

Exploring Monsoon Precipitation and Streamflow in a Semi-Arid Watershed part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring the Sabino Canyon
DATA: Precipitation, streamflow, and topographic data TOOLS: Google Earth & My World GIS SUMMARY: Explore a semi-arid watershed in Arizona. Investigate the effect of summer thunderstorms on streamflow.

Analyzing Plate Motion Using EarthScope GPS Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing Tectonic Plate Motion with GPS Data
DATA: EarthScope GPS Data. TOOLS: Spreadsheet, Google Maps. SUMMARY: Learn how GPS monuments make precise measurements of Earth's surface. Graph motion data and map velocity vectors to explore tectonic motion and surface deformation in the Pacific Northwest.

From Ocean Topography to Flexural Rigidity part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use the available bathymetric datasets to test the utility of a flexural rigidity model of oceanic crust.

Oil and Gas Exploration Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students play the role of a geologist for an oil and gas exploration company. Given a budget and some basic geological information they are required to bid on leases, explore, drill, and hopefully produce at a ...

Net Radiation and Temperature part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment helps students think about how net radiation affects surface temperature.

Investigating the Effect of Warmer Temperatures on Hurricanes part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Students investigate the link between ocean temperatures and hurricane intensity, analyze instrumental and historical data and speculate on possible future changes.

Tropical Cyclones and Global Change part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a full semester project focusing on tropical cyclones and climate change for my undergraduate tropical meteorology class. It consists of five parts, outlined below.

Analyzing Hurricanes part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
The exercise uses GIS to explore historical data on hurricanes (path, strength, name). Students identify trends in hurricane records, the impact of hurricanes on major U.S. cities, and how hurricanes change through ...