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Exemplary Teaching Activities

Beginning in 2011, On the Cutting Edge began a process to review the extensive collection of activities submitted by workshop participants and members of the geoscience community. The Review Processes page illuminates the details of the peer review process, and the activities are scored on 5 elements: scientific veracity; alignment of goals, activity, and assessment; pedagogical effectiveness; robustness; and completeness of the ActivitySheet. The activities that score very highly in these areas become part of the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection and are featured below. To date, activities in the mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, environmental geology, structural geology, geophysics, and tectonics areas have been reviewed so the exemplary collection is composed of activities from these topics. As the review of additional areas is completed, exemplary activities from the rest of the collection will be included here.


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Visualizing Earthquakes at Divergent Plate Margins part of Visualization:Examples
Cara Harwood, University of California-Davis
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at divergent plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D globe, making it easy to see their distribution within ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Exploring Snow part of Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
Erin Pettit, University of Alaska Fairbanks
This activity is intended to get students engaged and thinking about the role that snow plays in our climate system. It is a hands-on inquiry-based activity that students with no background knowledge can do. The ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Functional Morphology part of Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
Samantha Hopkins, University of Oregon
This is a laboratory exercise has students make inferences about function from skeletal morphology. It uses data collection, quantitative reasoning, and hypothesis testing.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Research project to consider how projected climate change will impact a region of interest to the student part of Climate Change:Activities
Susan Kaspari, Central Washington University
Students consult the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chapters on climate projections and the primary scientific literature to write a research paper and present their results to the ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Marine Oxygen Isotopes and Changes in Global Ice Volume part of Climate Change:Activities
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, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Recognizing and mapping faults using lidar and field data part of Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
In this activity, students create a geologic map and cross-section of the Fish Springs cinder cone and surrounding area in the Owens Valley, CA, using a high-resolution DEM developed from airborne lidar data as a ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Assessment of active tectonic behavior in a continental region using Google Earth part of Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 09:Teaching Activities
Gareth Funning, University of California-Riverside
Students assess, through use of free online data and tools, evidence for tectonic activity in the landscape of a selected continental area (not a local area). The project is assessed by consideration of a written ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Half Life Model part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
David N. Steer (steer@uakron.edu)and Kyle Gray (krg10@uakron.edu), University of Akron This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. GEO-0506518.
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the nature of half life. Students use the model to simulate the decay of radionuclides. The ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Introductory Courses:Activities
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Introductory Courses:Activities
Pete Stelling, Western Washington University
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.