The Woodlark Basin as a Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Geological Sciences
Andrew M. Goodliffe
University of Alabama
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Aug 10, 2007
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This activity is designed to show introductory physical geology students how geoscientists use many different types of data to solve a geological problem. In this exercise the students integrate basic geological and geophysical data to study the geology of the Papua New Guinea region, including the Woodlark Basin. This is done in the context of a GIS database.
This exercise is designed for use in an undergraduate introductory physical geology class (largely for non-majors)
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Before beginning this activity the students will have gone through our introductory physical geology class. They will have covered similar material to this, but not in the context of applying the techniques to a single geographic area
How the activity is situated in the course
This is a culminating activity, designed to show students that the different geoscience disciplines that they have covered during the course of semester can be used together to come up with a geological interpretation of a single area.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Learn how the vast amount of material covered in an introductory geology class and lab can be integrated and applied to a real-world example - including both geological and basic geophysical data.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Integration of different data types to solve a single problem
Other skills goals for this activity
Presentation of geoscience data in a GIS database
Description of the activity/assignment
Using an ArcReader database students will examine a number of different data types (including SRTM topography, bathymetry, seismicity, plate boundaries, volcano eruption history, and mineral resource information) to explore the geology of Papua New Guinea and the Woodlark Basin region. At the end of this labs students will have met the following learning objectives:
1) Learn how the material covered in class and lab can be integrated and applied to a real-world example.
2) Learn how this material can be presented in terms of a geographical information system (GIS) database.
Uses online and/or real-time data
Has minimal/no quantitative component
Determining whether students have met the goals
In the course of completing this activity students are required to answer a number of questions with minimal guidance.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.
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