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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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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, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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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 ...

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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 ...

The geomorphology of home part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
In this lab, students read and interpret 1) peer-reviewed literature, 2) LIDAR-derived hillshade maps, and 3) the landscape itself to better understand the geomorphology of their local urban/suburban environment ...

Could you outrun a dinosaur part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Hands-on measurements of a dinosaur trackway, calculation of dinosaur speeds, etc.

Random Walks, Evolutionary Trends, and Branching Models of Diversification part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students are exposed to the concept of random walk and how stochastic processes can be applied to constrain interpretation of diversity trends through geologic time.

When Pond Scum Ruled the Earth - The Proterozoic Fossil Record part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this specimen-based activity, students examine microfossils and stromatolites and build an understanding of the Proterozoic paleontological record.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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