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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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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 ...

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.

Article Review part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Metamorphic Rocks Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students describe rock characteristics and determine if a rock sample is metamorphic. If it is, they determine the parent rock. If not, they describe what it would change into as a metamorphic rock. The whole class ...

Introduction to County Soil Surveys part of Activities
Students use the Natural Resources Conservation Service's county-level soil survey to answer a series of questions about the soils their campus has been built on.

Soil Physical Properties and Profiles part of Activities
Students describe the color, structure, and hand texture of soil hand samples. Students also describe the profile for two soil cores.

Introduction to Topographic Maps part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to topographic maps and some of the information presented on them. Students must use basic map reading skills as well as algebra to work with map scale, measure distances, and ...

Mineral and Rock Identification part of Activities
Students are provided with a variety of rock and mineral samples and they use the sample properties and tables to accurately identify them.

Soil Field Methods part of Activities
Students collect a soil profile using a bucket auger and then describe the profile in the field.

Stream and River Water Quality part of Activities
Students visit a stream or river and conduct a site description and assess water quality using a variety of test kits and other field equipment.

Playa-Lunette Systems: Environmental Barometers of the High Plains part of Activities
Part 1 - students answer questions based on assigned readings Part 2 - students answer questions based on topographic map analysis Part 3 - students create and interpret paleoclimate proxy record graphs

Introduction to the Geographic Grid part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to the latitude-longitude geographic grid by interpreting data presented on a globe and in an atlas.

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008 part of Activities
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...

Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Buoyancy is based on Archimedes' Principle which states that the buoyant force acting upward on an object completely or partially immersed in a fluid equals the weight of the fluid displaced by the ...

Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...

Mining - Least Cost lab part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is an exercise that simulates the basic cost of mining, transportation and manufacturing activities under the concept of Weber's least-cost theory.

Rivers and Flooding Lab part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Understand flooding - why it occurs, how to measure the size and frequency of a flood, the relationship between size and flooding, and how human activity can increase the frequency of flooding events.

Ocean Predator/Prey Populations part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:AGU Modeling Workshop 2010:Activity Ideas
Susan Kelly Topic: Population change Course type: Introductory undergraduate course Description Modeling impact of change in food web Learning Goals or Outcomes Students will see how changes on one trophic level ...

Clam Dissection part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Dissecting a living clam to see how soft parts and life mode can be reconstructed from the preserved shells. Note: clams are purchased at a local market.