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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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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.

Chemical Weathering part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This field trip assignment brings students to a local cemetery to collect data related to the age and extent of weathering of limestone and igneous tombstones. Students then analyze the data they collect using ...

Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

Using Google Earth & GIS to Create a Customized Map part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are introduced to cartographic concepts and learn how to use GIS to make a proper map with scale information, location (longitude and latitude), orientation and appropriate title.

Ozone Pollution part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab exercise is designed to provide a basic understanding of a real-world scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the concept of tropospheric ozone as an air pollutant due to human activities. ...

Coastal Management case study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
After being presented with lecture material on coastal processes and engineering structures, students have small group discussions of a case study on whether a terminal groin should be built on a barrier island on ...

Tutorials for Introducing ArcGIS into Introductory Geoscience Courses part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Three sequential modular exercises introduce geoscience students to the power of GIS and give them experience with the kinds of GIS raster image analysis tasks commonly used by geoscientists. You might also be ...

Volcanic Histories part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students collaborate on the history and hazards of two volcanoes based on deposits from the two mountains. Appropriate for introductory students.

Stream Table Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a lab activity in which students play with a stream table to learn about stream processes, how water and sediment interact, and to learn about basic stream-related calculations.

Oil and Gas Exploration Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students play the role of a geologist for an oil and gas exploration company. Given a budget and some basic geological information they are required to bid on leases, explore, drill, and hopefully produce at a ...

Wind River Eco-Challenge: A Virtual Excursion Exercise for Introducing Topographic Maps part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity simulates an eco-challenge course in the Wind River Mountains, which are close to our campus. Our goal is that students approach their recreational adventures more prepared than they would ...

Navigation Unit part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a hands-on activity designed to teach basic land navigation skills using compass, GPS units and topographic maps. This unit relies heavily on math skills.

The Silicate Structures: Chalkboard Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the silicate structures, and their significance to mineral properties, to undergraduate non-science majors in an introductory physical geology course. Magnetic ...