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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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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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From Grid to Home
Lisa Gardiner, National Center for Atmospheric Research; Marie Johnson, United States Military Academy; Jonathan Hoffman, University of Wyoming
This one-period classroom activity is designed to have students analyze energy use, cost, and source patterns from household to regional scales and relate these patterns to CO2 emissions. This idea was generated at ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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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Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations.
Keith Sverdrup, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.

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An Assessment of Hillslope Stability Using the Factor of Safety
Laura Moore, Oberlin College
In this homework assignment students are asked to consider the balance of forces on a hill slope using the Factor of Safety.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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What are the causes and effects of ENSO?
Sarah Bednarz, Texas A & M University
This NASA Mission Geography module focuses on the evidence for global climate change. In the specific activity on ENSO, students role play policy makers deciding how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds)
Cailin Huyck Orr, Washington State University- Pullman
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...

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Systems Geobiology Powers of 10
Bruce Fouke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Systems Geobiology is the study of complex interactions arising from the interplay of biological, geological, physical, chemical and even social systems across multiple spatial (microns to thousands of kilometers) ...

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Coastal Erosion Online Discussion
Sheila Roberts, Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
This assignment is designed to get students to see the application of geology to a local problem, coastal erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline. I think the strength of this assignment is that many of the students ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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