Tutorials for Introducing Geoscience Students to ArcGIS
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 activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jul 9, 2008
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Mt. St. Helens exercise: Modified from an ESRI Canada activity, this exercise is designed primarily to be a "hook". It quickly gets students into ArcMap and gives them a first hand experience in the power of ArcGIS without bogging them down in background details.
Clinton exercise: Students gain experience in using ArcCatalog, creating hillshades of DEMs, and working with orthoquads. Although this exercise is built around the Clinton, NY 7.5' quad, it could be easily modified for any other quadrangle.
Adirondacks exercise: Students practice skills that they have learned in previous tutorials and gain experience in working with shape files. The primary emphasis of the exercise is to analyze the correlation between topography and bedrock geology in the Adirondacks region. The tutorial also teaches students how to create a finished map view. Although the exercise is built around the Adirondack region, it could be easily modified for any other area where bedrock resistance is correlated with topography.
All three tutorials are contained in the assignment/activity document that can be downloaded below. The data sets can be individually downloaded; even though the data sets are in zipped folders, they are still large and may take awhile to download.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Data set for Mt. St. Helens exercise (note: this is a large, zipped folder) (Zip Archive 117.4MB Jul9 08)
- Data set for Clinton exercise (note: this is a large, zipped folder) (Zip Archive 6.1MB Jan13 11)
- Data set for Adirondacks exercise (note: this is a large, zipped folder) (Zip Archive 221.3MB Jul9 08)
- GIS Primer (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Mar30 10): this document is a simple GIS "how-to" manual for tasks including those used in this exercise.