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Teaching About Energy in Geoscience Courses: Current Research and Pedagogy
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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy


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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 ...

Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...

Cost Effectiveness of Increased Fuel Efficiency part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News:Examples
In this example students examine and critique an argument which implies that it is not cost effective to pay for an automobile with increased fuel efficiency. Using a few reasonable assumptions shows that some of ...

Where does your energy come from? Analyzing your energy bill part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Activities
Students use utility bills to determine the cost and sources of energy in their households.

Investigating Renewable Energy Data from Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Project REDI
DATA: Soltrex Online Data. TOOL: Microsoft Excel. SUMMARY: Examine solar energy generation; explore websites that monitor and report solar energy production from panels at many different locations; and consider how much of a school's or home's energy needs could be supplied by solar power.

Home Energy Audit/Retrofits part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Activities
Home energy audit/retrofits allow students to apply thermodynamic principles to planning and executing a retrofit to make an existing home more energy efficient.

How Much Energy is on my Plate? part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
This activity is part of the community collection of teaching materials on climate and energy topics. This activity was submitted by faculty as part of the CLEAN Energy Workshop, held in April, 2011. This activity ...

Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

Using Lab Measurements to Determine the Feasibility of a Photovoltaic Panel part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Using Lab Measurements to determine the power output of a solar module and the economic feasibility of photovoltaic panels

Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

Offshore wind or offshore oil? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An introductory environmental science project tasking students with comparing offshore oil and wind power development.

Students' Evaluation of Competing Alternative Energy Options for a Sustainability Assessment part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
A group exercise in trying to understand the many attributes that contribute to an overall assessment of sustainability for alternative energy projects.

A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This activity utilizes publicly available, proposed national legislation to provide a platform for student inquiry into the intersection of climate science, environmental economics and sustainable public policy.

Habitat for Humanity Build Day part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Teaching sustainability through Habitat for Humanity.

Analysis of trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An exercise to analyze trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption.

Back of the Envelope Calculations: Renewable Energy part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This is an example of a back of the envelope calculation of the payback period for a renewable energy installation.

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.

Petroleum Use Jigsaw Activity/Homework part of Energy Activities
Students get one of 3 homework assignments. They then gather in groups, one that has completed each homework to answer questions as a group. The exercises estimate current oil usage, reserves, and amounts available ...

The Energy Conundrum part of Energy Activities
This is a lecture aimed at preparing students for making the leap from what is to what ought to be. In it, I present the main sociological theories about poverty and examine several places I've lived—New ...



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