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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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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.

Plate Motions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

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 ...

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 ...

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...

Volcanoes around the Globe (Beta test copy) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

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 ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Plotting Florida River Data Using Excel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is used to prepare students to analyze data they will collect during their group project. It familiarizes students with previously collected data, and builds skills graphing and interpreting data.

Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab introduces students of aspects of earthquake seismology methods. These include analysis of p-wave amplitude, location of an earthquake epicenter and determining the time of occurrence of an earthquake. ...

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...

Ordering Geologic Events and Interpreting Geologic History: The Grand Canyon part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is designed to have students re-examine rocks they looked at earlier in the semester and use them to interpret some of the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.

Geologic Structures Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In class activity involving a thought exercise about rock rheology, discussion and drawing of simple brittle and ductile structures, and then reading an article about how the depth of the brittle-ductile transition ...

Study of the Horsepen Creek Stream System part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an in depth laboratory exercise that can be adapted to any stream system, and has been successfully implemented with classes composed primarily of non-majors. This field exercise allows students to go ...

Sedimentary Environments part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab emphasizes a few basic principles used to decipher past sedimentary depositional environments including sediment grain size, sorting, and arrangement along with sedimentary structures. The major strength ...

Geologic Maps and Geologic Structures: A Texas Example part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students work with geologic maps of Texas, learning details of Texas geology, and reinforce knowledge and use of geologic structures, stratigraphic sections, and geologic cross sections.

Sediment and Depositional Environments lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students will investigate sedimentary materials and depositional environments utilizing microscopes, hand samples, and internet data.

Liquefaction Live! activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this activity, students are provided with equipment and instructions for creating a simulation of liquefaction. The activity is great for students because it first asks them to reflect of what they know about ...

Fun with Foam: Introduction to Strike and Dip part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a hands-on activity designed to help students better visualize and become more familiar with the strike and dip of deformed beds.