On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Introductory Geoscience Courses in the 21st Century
Cutting Edge > Introductory Courses > Activities > Using ArcGIS to Investigate the Connection between Bedrock Geology and the Development of Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Using ArcGIS to Investigate the Connection between Bedrock Geology and the Development of Ancient Egyptian Civilization

Barbara and David Tewksbury
,
Hamilton College
Author Profile

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

Summary

In this assignment, students use ArcGIS (DEMs plus georeferenced geologic maps) to analyze the influence of bedrock geology on the development and extent of Ancient Egypt.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Context

Audience

This exercise is part of an introductory geology course called Geology and Human Events in Africa and the Middle East. The course focuses on the underlying influence of geology and geologic processes on human events.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students must have basic ArcGIS skills and be able to work with DEMs in ArcMap, create and manipulate hillshades, manipulate layers in ArcGIS, and create map layouts.

How the activity is situated in the course

This exercise takes place about three weeks into the course.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students will consolidate concepts related to rock type, rock resistance, faults, floodplain formation and evolution, and correlations between bedrock geology and topography.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students will independently analyze how bedrock geology contributed to development and extent of Ancient Egypt. The aim is also to have students clearly distinguish between observations and interpretations/explanations.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students will practice GIS skills learned in previous assignments.

Description of the activity/assignment

In this exercise, students use DEMS of the Nile valley plus georeferenced geologic maps to make observations first about the changes in floodplain width from Khartoum northward to the Mediterranean and then about correlations between floodplain width and bedrock geology. They write an analysis paragraph offering an explanation for their observations about the correlations they observed and summarizing what they have concluded about the influence of bedrock geology on the development and location of Ancient Egypt. They each create an ArcMap to illustrate their observations and interpretations.

You can also download a GIS Primer (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Mar30 10) that we have written, which is a simple GIS "how-to" manual for tasks including those used in this exercise.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of their analyses of how bedrock geology contributed to development and extent of Ancient Egypt, on the quality of their exported ArcMaps, and on how well their ArcMaps illustrate the points made in their explanatory paragraphs.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

See more Activities »