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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have been submitted via a number of projects including On the Cutting Edge and may be useful in teaching Environmental Geology.


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Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole (College Level)
Brian Welch
College-level adaptation of a chapter in the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Examine satellite images of atmospheric ozone in the Southern Hemisphere to study changes in concentration over a time. -

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Tracers in the hydrologic cycle: A jigsaw activity
Peter Lea, Bowdoin College
Using a jigsaw approach, students investigate biogeochemical transformations (nitrate, silica, pH and conductivity) of water as it moves through the hydrologic cycle. The resulting conceptual framework facilitates ...

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Exercise 5: The human impact of sea level changes, plus extensions to impacts of other natural events on human populations
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Summary In this eight-part exercise, students download NOAA high resolution bathy/topo DEMs and TIGER census data to predict the location of shorelines, the extent of ...

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Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite
Michael Mayhew, National Science Foundation;
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
Michael Mayhew, National Science Foundation;
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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Greenhouse Effect Lab
Krista Larsen, Carleton College
In this lab, students measure temperature changes inside soda bottles (one with CO2 added, the other with only air inside) as incandescent light is shined on them to model the Greenhouse Effect.

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Analyzing Continuous Data - Climate Variability
Sarah Rubinfeld, Carthage College
The exercise focuses on the analysis of continuous data as applied to climate variability. Using data freely available on the internet, students work in Excel to import their data, organize it, and analyze it using ...

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Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs
Patricia Cashman, University of Nevada-Reno
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

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Building Blocks
Cynthia Fadem, Earlham College
In association with rock and mineral ID tables, this lab introduces students to basic rocks and minerals via grouping and comparison, rather than as individual samples. I use this lab in my environmental geology ...

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Marine Oxygen Isotopes and Changes in Global Ice Volume
Ben Laabs, SUNY College at Geneseo
Students explore marine oxygen-isotope data from cores collected by the Ocean Drilling Program. The activity gives students access to real paleoclimate data, develops their skills in organizing and graphing data, ...

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