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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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Observations and Measurements in Geology part of Activities
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Sediment and Depositional Environments lab part of Activities
Students will investigate sedimentary materials and depositional environments utilizing microscopes, hand samples, and internet data.

Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of 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.

Analyzing Real-Time and Historical Wave and Sea Surface Data part of 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 ...

Article Review part of Activities
During the semester, students must complete two article reviews. They are required to summarize and critically evaluate a recent article pertaining to a topic in Earth Science. Articles may be chosen by the student ...

Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

Changing With the Tide part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan is written around a brief role-play in which students learn about and act out plants and animals in a salt marsh habitat as the tides change. -

Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan deals with coral reefs and the recent crisis of coral bleaching. It suggests that students engage in a role-playing debate about modifying human activity to protect reefs. -

Ocean Circulation part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students view and analyze buoy, satellite, temperature vs. depth data to learn about ocean circulation and how is related to atmospheric circulation. -

Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -

Gallery Walk Questions about Coastlines part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about coastlines. The questions are organized according to the cognitive ...

Gallery Walk Questions about the Ocean part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about the ocean. The questions are organized according to the cognitive ...

Wind Surge: Interactive On-line Mac and PC part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Wind surge is a JAVA based applet for exploring how water level on the windward and leeward side of a basin depends on wind speed, basin length, water depth, and boundary type. -

Sea Floor Spreading I part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
In this introductory Excel tutorial (Activity I) students use Excel to explore the geodynamics model equation for ocean depth around a sea-floor spreading center. For students with no prior Excel experience. -

Sea Floor Spreading II part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Students import ocean bathymetry data from text files, they then use Excel to graph these observations along with model prediction to assess the model's ability to simulated the observed topographic features ...

Wave Superposition: Interactive On-line Mac and PC part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
An Interactive JAVA environment to allow one to look at the linear superposition of up to 4 ocean waves -

Contour Basics: JAVA Mac/PC part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Visualizations:Visualization Examples
A great on-line resource for introducing students to contour plots.

Sea Floor Spreading I part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
In this introductory Excel tutorial (Activity I) students use Excel to explore the geodynamics model equation for ocean depth around a sea-floor spreading center. For students with no prior Excel experience. -

Sea Floor Spreading II part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Students import ocean bathymetry data from text files, they then use Excel to graph these observations along with model prediction to assess the model's ability to simulated the observed topographic features ...

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