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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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River Flooding and Erosion
Bill Dupre, University of Houston-University Park
Students take a real-life situation (river flooding and erosion), use real flood and map data, and make predictions and recommendations as to what to do to help alleviate the problem.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Percentage of Copper in Ore
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose that you are building a new house. It will take about 90 kg (198 pounds) of copper to do the electrical wiring. In order to get the copper in the first place, someone needs to mine solid rock that ...

Frequency of Large Earthquakes -- Introducing Some Elementary Statistical Descriptors
Len Vacher, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students examine the number of large earthquakes (magnitude 7 and above) per year for 1970-1999 and 1940-1999. QL: descriptors of a frequency distribution.

The Costs of Your Commute: Your Money, Your Time, and the Earth
Charlie Buehrle
This activity has students investigate their own cost, CO2 output, and time for commuting. They then compare their commute to an environmentally conscious alternative by using comparable metrics.

Who Goes There? Estimating Ocean Populations in Chincoteague Bay
Maria Hernandez; Itnuit Janovitz-Freireich
In this activity students use data to: rank species on the food chain, compute energy flow ratios and estimate fish populations in the Chincoteague Bay. Students also discuss the impact of the ecosystem and humans on this population, with an extension activity calculating the biodiversity of the system.

Salt Marshes: estimation techniques using basic algebra and geometry
Yelena Meadows; Sharareh Nikbakht
The activity allows for learning about salt marshes ecosystem and practicing of basic math in estimations.

Fitting and Estimating Rates of Change in the Functions Underlying Earth's Bio-Development Over Time
Alan Ableson; Jennifer Bready
What is happening in our world? How has the temperature changed? Have oxygen and carbon dioxide levels changed? How does this effect biodiversity? In this lab, we will investigate the changes in these four variables over various time periods to see how they relate.

Bakken Oil From Shale, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Global Oil Economics
Robert McConnell
Students work with oil production data to assess the environmental impact, and economic controls, of oil production and consumption.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent
Bill Bauldry
Student teams investigate Arctic Sea Ice by analyzing actual data and making predictions. A worthwhile extension is to predict the first year that the Arctic Ocean will be ice free.

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