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# Teaching Activities

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Investigating Earthquakes: GIS Mapping and Analysis (College Level)
This is a college-level adaptation of a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The students download global quake data over a time range and use GIS to interpret the tectonic context. -

The Sleeping Mountain
In this role-playing scenario, students represent townspeople whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by an active volcano which may or may not erupt in the near future. -

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

Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone at risk for a large earthquake?
In this lesson we discuss the controversy regarding the extent of seismic risk in the central United States today. We learn how to estimate earthquake recurrence interval using a variety of methods. This lesson ...

NanTroSEIZE in 3-D
We have developed a web-based virtual expedition, NanTroSEIZE in 3-D, based on a seismic survey associated with the NanTroSEIZE program of NSF-MARGINS and IODP to study the properties of the plate boundary fault ...

Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

Global Earthquakes: Teaching about Earthquakes with Data and 3D Visualizations
In this series of visualizations and accompanying activities, students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes and explore their distribution at plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

Visualizing Global Earthquakes Where and Why do Earthquakes Occur?
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at and below the surface of Earth and how their distribution is related to plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

Paleotempestology Lab
Paleotempestology Lab: this lab activity is designed to help students gain experience in relative and absolute dating techniques as well as a sense of how scientific investigations proceed.

Monument Creek hydraulics project
This is a several-part field and computer-based project that involves students in measurement of stream-channel geometry, basic stream-hydraulics calculations, and flood-frequency analysis. Its primary strengths ...

Earthquake Epicenter Location Exercise using Google Earth and OneNote
Students are provided with data from 4 seismograms which are used to plot the epicenter of an earthquake using OneNote to pick the P-S wave arrival gap and Google Earth to plot the circles which intersect at the ...

Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.

Earthquake Case Study
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.

Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

Floods on the Minnesota River
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

River Flooding and Erosion
Students take a real-life situation (river flooding and erosion), use real flood and map data, and make predictions and recommendations as to what to do to help alleviate the problem.

Nearest-neighbor analysis and the distribution of sinkholes: an introduction to spatial statistics
This is an exercise I use in an upper-division geomorphology course to introduce students to nearest-neighbor analysis, a basic technic in spatial statistics. This technique provides an objective method for ...

Volcanic Ejecta from Sunset Crater
Students are provided with equations and geological data to estimate the velocities and impact effects of volcanic bombs that were ejected during the last eruption of Sunset Crater, a young cinder cone volcano in ...

Volcanoes Writing Assignment
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data
Students analyze discharge records of streams or rivers of interest to them using on-line USGS NWIS data.