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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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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place?
Steve Reynolds, Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.

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Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw
E. Christa Farmer, Hofstra University
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

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Carbon Footprint Exercise
Cinzia Cervato, Iowa State University
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

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Calculation of your personal carbon footprint
Scott Giorgis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...

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Oil Demand and Consumption
Steve Iona, University of Denver
Data modeling activity using oil reserve and consumption data. Students predict when oil reserves meet or exceed reserves.

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Groundwater Lab
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This lab uses "ant farm" groundwater models to demonstrate groundwater flow and the behavior of wells. The lab is organized so that students have to predict the behavior of the model before observing it.

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Groundwater Consulting Lab
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...

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Floods on the Minnesota River
Ben Laabs, SUNY College at Geneseo
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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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.

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The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change
Dan Zalles, SRI International
Students draw conclusions about the extent to which multiple decades of temperature data about Phoenix suggest that a shift in local climate is taking place as opposed to exhibiting nothing more than natural ...

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