Cutting Edge > Data, Simulations and Models > Classroom Activities

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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Looking into Earth with GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Seismic Wave Velocity
DATA: Seismic Wave Model Output. TOOLS: My World GIS, Microsoft Excel. SUMMARY: Examine seismic wave data in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze wave velocities to infer the depth of the crust-mantle boundary.

Exploring Characteristics of Wetlands part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing Wetlands
DATA: Worldwide Wetlands Inventory. TOOL: Ramsar International Wetlands Data Gateway. SUMMARY: Learn about wetlands around the world. Perform a series of searches to identify wetland areas that need protection.

When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Predicting Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine
DATA: Ocean Buoy Data, MODIS Images TOOLS: GoMOOS Online Graphing Tool - Learn about conditions that influence the spring phytoplankton bloom. Use an online graphing tool to predict the date of the bloom.

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -

Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic Data part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Identifying Minerals Using Chemical and Crystallographic Data
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and ...

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) ...

Olivine Crystal Structure part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
In this exercise, students use the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database and a crystallographic visualization program such as Xtaldraw or CrystalMaker to study the temperature-dependent ordering of Mg ...

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
In this exercise, designed for undergraduate igneous petrology or advanced mineralogy courses, students download a series of crystal structures from the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database to explore ...

Plate Tectonics writing assignment suitable for Calibrated Peer Review part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This is an example of a writing assignment focussed on the use of data to support the theory of plate tectonics. -

Exploring and Animating GOES Images part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring and Animating GOES Image
DATA: GOES Weather Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Transform a time series of GOES images into an animation. Plot a storm track and determine storm speed.

Investigating Earthquakes with ArcExplorer GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Investigating Earthquakes 2
DATA: Recent and Historical Earthquake Data. TOOL: ArcExplorer Java Edition for Education GIS. SUMMARY: Explore earthquake data and import them into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze the data to predict where the next big earthquake will occur.

Chesapeake Interactive Modeling Project part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
CHIMP is an interactive numerical model of Chesapeake Bay circulation. Users can vary freshwater flux and wind speed/direction and observe the response in real time, with several visualization options.

Gulf Stream Heat Budget and Europe part of Cutting Edge: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.

Plotting Earthquakes with Near Real-Time Data part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Students access the United States Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ and plot the longitude latitude and depth of earthquakes on a physiographic ...

An Isograd and Mixed-Volatile Exercise Using Data from the Ubehebe Peak Contact Aureole part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008 part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...

Understanding Carbon Storage in Forests part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:GLOBECarbon
DATA: Forest Inventory and Analysis data, TOOLS: isee Player, Spreadsheet application. SUMMARY: Compare field collected data with results produced by a forest biomass model to understand the process and challenges scientists face when doing terrestrial carbon cycle research.

Global Patterns part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Based on my research on how best to enhance students' understanding of complex systems, I utilize various activities to support pattern recognition, a fundamental skill to understanding complex systems ...

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.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: What's in Your Woods? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Whats in Your Woods?
DATA: Forest Inventory Growth and Analysis data, TOOLS: Spreadsheet, My World GIS - Investigate forest biodiversity in Maine and consider the environmental factors that contribute to tree species diversity.