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Activities for Introductory Geoscience

Here you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.

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Soil description & analysis part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The students pull soil cores in a transect across a hill. They describe the horizons and create a fence diagram, then determine the maturity of the soil & relate it to the climate & geologic history of the ...

Introduction to Groundwater Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this lab, students investigate groundwater flow and water quality within a groundwater well field on the CSU campus. The well field is part of the GroundWater Education and Teaching (GetWET) Observatory.

Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Colorful foam sheets are used in a classroom or lab setting to introduce students to the concept of strike and dip. It is interactive, and the instructor or TA's can quickly see which students are ...

Soil Properties part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this activity, students determine soil texture and color using a "texture-by-feel" analysis and Munsell color charts. In addition to these basic tests, students also devise their own soil ...

Calculation of Stream Discharge part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab is a field oriented exercise that visits two sites on the same stream to calculate stream discharge. It illustrates the influences of stream cross-sectional area on discharge and the resistance of bedrock ...

Earthquake Machine Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity is a demonstration where students predict what will happen under various conditions. The "Earthquake Machine" shows relationships between stress, strain, friction along the fault ...

Earthquake resistant design part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In groups of two, the students design and build a three-story building to be as earthquake resistant as possible. Using an in-house designed and built shaker table, we load each floor of the building based on area ...

Exercise on Atmospheric Structure, Stratospheric Ozone, and Acid Rain part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity helps students to understand the basic ozone structure as well as ozone and acid rain problems.

Using ArcGIS to Investigate the Connection between Bedrock Geology and the Development of Ancient Egyptian Civilization part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
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.

Using eJournal writing assignments to assess learning and classroom community part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
About every two weeks I ask each student in my introductory course to write brief responses to questions I pose to them. They write these in an e-Journal, a part of the blog function of BlackBoard. My laboratory ...

Warm-up part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
These are questions of many types I assign on reading. They are due before class begins.

Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This fairly traditional topographic maps lab uses local maps as examples. It is intended to prepare students for a group research project later in the semester.

Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students observe an ocean basin and two continental margins to identify possible plate boundaries and predict where earthquakes and volcanoes would occur. They also draw the boundaries in cross section.

Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.

Earth's Surface Features part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This Lecture Tutorial is designed for students to work on in groups after the students have learned about basic surface features and how they relate to planets in general. The tutorial is designed to help students ...

Determining the 100-year floodplain of the Chippewa River part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this in-class activity recurrence intervals are calculated for ten flooding events on the Chippewa River near Eau Claire Wisconsin. The students use 1:24000 topographic maps to determine the extent of the ...

Carousel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The "carousel" is a classroom activity I use to assess how well students have absorbed the last week's material and/or how well prepared they are for an upcoming exam.

Using the local topo maps 'Louisville East and West Quads' part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is designed to test if the students have understood the past two preparatory assignments in introducing topographic maps. After two 'pre-lab' exercises and readings in what a topographic ...

Boulder ID part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Groups of students participate in identification of decorative boulder fields used as landscaping. Groups try to identify rock type and challenge the identifications of other groups.

Analyzing Real-Time and Historical Wave and Sea Surface Data part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students gather and analyze real-time and historical wave height, and sea surface temperature data with emphasis on U.S. west coast and Southern California locations. Analysis of the wave height data allows ...

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