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Geochemistry Activities

Stream sampling in the Animas River
USGS photo

This collection of activities can be used in geochemistry courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The materials below are sorted by topic, and may be listed under more than one topic. Help us expand the collection by contributing your favorite teaching activity.



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Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
David Bailey, Hamilton College
Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Geologists frequently measure and observe properties such as hardness, specific gravity, color, etc. Unfortunately, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Wendy Harrison, National Science Foundation; Ric Wendlandt, Colorado School of Mines
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

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.

Magma Modification in the central Sierra Nevada Batholith part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
This exercise is centered around a suite of rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith. The activities are designed to give petrology students a capstone experience for the igneous portion of the upper-level Petrology ...

Where Did That Quartzite Clast Come From?: A Problem-Based Provenance Study part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
Andrew Hanson, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Students conducting geochemical provenance studies are forced to deal with obvious things such as manipulating/interpreting geochemical data, but also must deal less obvious factors such as considering earlier ...

Using spring water chemistry to understand groundwater inputs part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Rebecca Frus, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
The assignment will begin with teaching proper water collection and use of equipment for hydrochemical field work. Once the class is familiar with sample collecting technques, the class takes a field trip to ...

independent soil investigation project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Stephanie Ewing, Montana State University-Bozeman
Students demonstrate their skill in soils investigation and interpretation through independent projects undertaken in groups of one to three and presented in class using visual aids.

Research Paper part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Alan Wanamaker, Iowa State University
This writing assignment was a major part of a class entitled "Stable Isotopes in the Environment" at Iowa State University. The main goals of the assignment were to foster effective scientific writing and ...

Pet Rock Project: A Semester-long Exercise for Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
The pet rock project is a semester-long project in which each student randomly selects an igneous or metamorphic rock from the instructor or brings in a rock from an appropriate locality, and follows all of the ...

The Anatomy of a Rate Law part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Quantitative Writing:Examples
Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University
This assignment teaches geochemistry students to explain the mathematical forms of rate laws, and organize paragraphs in their writing assignments properly.

Chemical Equilibrium Misconceptions part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Examples
Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University
This STELLA modeling and writing assignment helps students confront and replace common misconceptions about chemical equilibrium.