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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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Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

Microsoft Excel Basic Tutorial part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
This assignment walks students through the creation of an Excel spreadsheet, step by step. It includes numerical fills via copy, creation of fixed and relative formulas, formula fill via copy, and some summary ...

Geologic Mapping Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This exercise is designed to simulate some of the mapping aspects of a basic geological investigation. This mock geological investigation is a good wrap-up exercise because it incorporates a variety of geological ...

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Observing Streams & Rivers in Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Students are asked to observe fluvial features on both Earth and Mars in satellite images via Google Earth (as well as online panoramas) and explore processes of erosion and deposition and the relationship of ...

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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.

Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...

Time Scales of Climate Change part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This activity introduces students to the fact that climate change occurs at timescales of 1 year to 108 years and there are various drivers to explain these changes. It addresses how scientists detect these scales ...

Consequences of Modern Energy Use: A Remote Sensing analysis of the gulf oil spill using ArcGIS software. part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students download satellite imagery and conduct a remote sensing analysis of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using ArcGIS software.

Groundwater Flow Model part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students assess a groundwater flow system using a physical groundwater model. Students take measurements, make observations and do simple calculations to evaluate the groundwater flow system. The ...

Marine Oxygen Isotopes and Changes in Global Ice Volume part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
Students explore marine oxygen-isotope data from cores collected by the Ocean Drilling Program. The activity gives students access to real paleoclimate data, develops their skills in organizing and graphing data, ...

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Google Earth Introduction to Canadian Cordillera part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
This exercise is intended to: i) give students an introduction to Google Earth, ii) guide the students through various geological structures using Google Earth, and iii) serve as an introduction to the key features ...

Recognizing and mapping faults using lidar and field data part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
In this activity, students create a geologic map and cross-section of the Fish Springs cinder cone and surrounding area in the Owens Valley, CA, using a high-resolution DEM developed from airborne lidar data as a ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Sand-box experiment to investigate incremental and finite strain part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
100 level students, in groups of 3-6, are provided with small sand-boxes fitted with a single moving end. Each box is filled with different colored layers of sand, grit, and ploymer grains to simulate bedding. ...

Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Earthquake Epicenter Location Exercise using Google Earth and OneNote part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Students are provided with data from 4 seismograms which are used to plot the epicenter of an earthquake using OneNote to pick the P-S wave arrival gap and Google Earth to plot the circles which intersect at the ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Interpretation of plate boundaries from topography, bathymetry, volcanoes, and earthquake focal depths using Google Earth and OneNote part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Students are provided with data on topography, bathymetry, locations of earthquakes and volcanoes and earthquake focal depths in Google Earth. They are asked to plot a cross-section of topography/bathymetry and ...

Investigative Case - Living in an Alkaline Environment part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Living in an Alkaline Environment is a three-part interactive activity that explores the ecology and diversity of life in alkaline environments.

Shoreline and Sea Level Change part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Activity Ideas
Robert de Groot, Michele, Cooke, Chris Condit, Matthew Arsenault (facilitator), Ed Nuhfer, Bill Slattery, Helen King, and Tim Slater Topic: Coastal Geomorphology, Geologic Hazards, Climate Change Course Type:intro ...