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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. As of the fall of 2015, the entirety of the legacy activity collection has been reviewed. We are developing a process with NAGT by which new submissions can also get reviewed and be added to the reviewed collection.


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Fossil/modern mole phylogeny part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Samantha Hopkins
Students code characters from fossil taxa to add to an existing morphological phylogenetic analysis of moles. This activity is original research; the fossil taxa have never before been included in a phylogenetic ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Caminalcule Phylogenetic Exercise part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Bill Ausich, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Imaginary creatures (caminalcues) are used as an introduction to the methods, assumptions, and conclusions of phylogenetic analysis.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Paleoecological exercise: Testing competition among Paleozoic brachiopods part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
David Kendrick, Hobart William Smith Colleges
This lab activity tests the hypothesis that competition has resulted in niche partitioning among four species of brachiopods.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Evolution in Your part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Peg Yacobucci, Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
This writing exercise asks students to use library resources to locate a peer-reviewed journal article that describes research on the evolution of their individual "pet" taxonomic group. After reading 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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Capstone Research Project: Holocene History of Estuarine Environmental Change part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Michael Savarese, Florida Gulf Coast University
This is a collaborative, semester-long research project that students conduct as their capstone activity for the course. The project is designed to be comprehensive and apply numerous concepts, topical units, and ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Calculation of your personal carbon footprint part of Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
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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Cladogram Construction and Vertebrate Phylogeny part of Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Sarah Fowell, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Students are given pictures of a variety of extant vertebrates. They work in groups to determine which animals are most closely related. Following a series of clicker questions and a discussion of 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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Aquifer Elasticity and Specific Storage part of Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Herb Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The goal of this experiment is to measure the specific storage Ss of a balloon, which simulates aquifer elasticity. The experiment is designed to give observational meaning to the variable, increment of fluid ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Quantifying Groundwater Baseflow and Improving Math Skills through a Stream-Discharge Exercise part of Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
James Reichard, Georgia Southern University
A two-part exercise is presented where students quantify stream discharge and use the data to determine groundwater baseflow. They first use tedious hand calculations to compute discharge; then develop their own ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Pathogenic Microorganisms in Water part of Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Melissa Lenczewski, Northern Illinois University
This activity introduces students to sampling and testing for microorganisms in different water sources. It also tests iodine tablets to kill coliform bacteria which interest many students. The activity utilizes ...

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.