These teaching activities have been contributed by participants in Cutting Edge workshops and related to the themes of this workshop - hydrogeology, soils, low-temperature geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and upper-division environmental science. You may also access the full listing of Teaching Activities on the Cutting Edge website.Help
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Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
Cinzia Cervato, Iowa State University
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...
Groundwater Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This lab uses "ant farm" groundwater models to demonstrate groundwater flow and the behavior of wells. The lab is organized so that students have to predict the behavior of the model before observing it.
Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...
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, ...
Short Readings from the American Mineralogist: Sneaky Tools for Teaching Scientific Reading Comprehension and Mineralogical Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
This activity uses short, well-written articles to enhance teaching for a mineralogy course. Articles are taken from the American Mineralogist journal.
Porosity and Permeability part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Rebecca Witherow, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Students explore the properties of porosity and permeability using everyday items and geological materials. This activity has several components to appeal to different learning styles.
Teaching the nitrogen cycle and human health interactions part of Cutting Edge:Geology and Human Health:Workshop 04:Activities
Margaret Townsend, University of Kansas Main Campus
This activity uses objects, pictures, and text in a matching game to define the nitrogen cycle and the environmental and human health impacts of nitrogen. The game can be used to associate useful and detrimental ...
Calculating Compositional Variation and Common Substitutions for Igneous and Metamorphic Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
This problem set uses Excel spreadsheets to calculate mineral formulae from analytical data (typically from the electron microprobe) using a variety of formulations that assume numerous variations of crystal ...
Nearest-neighbor analysis and the distribution of sinkholes: an introduction to spatial statistics part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Rick Ford, Weber State University
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 ...
Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Christopher D. Condit
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...