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Teaching Activities


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Diagnosing Landslide Hazard
Diagnosing Landslide Hazard: Les Hasbargen, SUNY College at Oneonta Intended Audience: This activity is designed for upper division Geology, Earth Science, and Earth Science education majors. Location: Landslide ...

VEPP: Working with the VEPP website in an online M.Ed. course
Students explore the VEPP website and complete a two-part problem set in which they work through the ideas presented in an EOS paper regarding eruptions at Kilauea and they try to find a deflation-inflation event ...

Field Exercise - Caddy Canyon Debris Flows
Field Exercise - Caddy Canyon Debris Flow(s): Glenn Thackray, Idaho State University Intended Audience: This assignment has been used in a senior graduate-level geomorphology course with lower and upper division ...

A Kinesthetic Demonstration for Locating Earthquake Epicenters
A kinesthetic activity for students to understand the technique for locating the epicenter of an earthquake. It is performed indoors and outdoors in three lessons.

Student-centered Experiments on Earthquake Occurrence Using the Seismic/Eruption Program
Students select their own region of interest and interrogate the earthquake catalog to obtain quantitative data on the rate of occurrence of earthquakes of various magnitudes within their chosen region.

Investigating slope failure and landscape evolution with red beans and rice!
Students investigate the behavior of a slope profile over geological timescales using a very simple experimental apparatus. The lab allows students to understand concepts of equilibrium, controls on slope profile, ...

Mentos and soda eruptions- lessons on explosive volcanic eruptions
Students participate in a popular experiment with Mentos candies and soda. This helps them learn about the scientific method, gas saturation, bubble nucleation, and explosive volcanic eruptions.

Water and Mud: Linking hydrogeology and landscape change
Hydrogeology textbooks usually do a poor job in linking groundwater to Earth's surface processes, yet the two are closely linked. It is important for the hydrogeology student to understand that surface and ...

Earthquake Demonstration
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy ...

Stream Gages and GIS
Utilize the online GIS of the USGS real-time stream gage network to introduce basic concepts of data-driven maps and GIS. This exercise can be used independently or with other hydrology exercises. -

Discussion worksheets for popular literature readings on river processes and policy
These five worksheets guide student preparation for in-class discussion of reading assignments from Life on the Mississippi, Cadillac Desert, and The Control of Nature.

The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

Floods over time: death vs. destruction
This exercise looks at the dollar losses and deaths caused by flooding in the US, and at the causes of, and relationships between the two trends.

Quantitative Classroom Exercises
The four exercises give students an opportunity to use their knowledge of graphs, algebra, and maps to solve simple geological problems.

Locating and Measuring Earthquakes Using Real Seismic Data
The objective is to locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude using real data recorded by seismographs.

Distribution of Active Volcanoes Exercise
In this series of inquiry-based exercises about volcanoes and plate tectonics, students will collect, plot, and interpret data and finish with a role-playing activity and a virtual field trip. -

Rivers: Short In-class Activity
Images of the James River in Virginia, including one at flood stage, and of potholes, all of which can be used to have the students make observations, estimates, and interpretations. -

Reducing Volcanic Hazards to People and Property - An Assignment with Electronic Peer Review
This electronic peer review exercise has students discuss the major volcanic hazards and risks to humans. -

VEPP: Monitoring the Pu'u 'Ō'ō Eruption of Kīlauea Volcano Using Geochemical, Deformation and Seismicity Timeseries Data
Pu'u 'O'o at the end of episode 32 (USGS photograph by J.D. Griggs, 4/22/85, JG5363). This is an exercise that is in development and has not yet been fully tested in the classroom. Please check back ...

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