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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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Time Series Analysis of Lehigh Valley Instrumental Climate Records part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this lab activity the students will learn basic statistical and graph skills by analyzing real world climate data sets.

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 ...

Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to 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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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 ...

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

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

Crater Counting Lab exercise part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This lab is designed to teach students how we can estimate the age of other planetary surfaces by counting and size-binning impact craters. It also illustrates some examples of how erosional or deopositional ...

M & M Decay part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a simulation of radioactive decay which illustrates what a half-life is and explains some of the challenges involved with radiometric dating. Pennies or other cheap coins can be substituted for M&Ms if ...

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

Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Hierarchical Alignment of Timelines part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
In the hierarchical alignment activity students progressively and hierarchically align scale information to a spatial linear representation. The progressive alignment of scales may alleviate the conceptual ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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How to be a field geologist: an in-class exercise to introduce students to basic outcrop analysis part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This in-class exercise is designed to give students practice analyzing outcrops before they go on a field trip. First, students watch a short video tutorial on analyzing an outcrop. Then, they are given a color ...

Greenstone Belt Assessment part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Students examine and describe rocks found as part of a geologic sequence formed during the Precambrian Era and determine the geologic significance of each of the rocks in order. The capstone (not included on the ...

Depositional Environments and Geologic History Labs part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a pair of labs that incrementally prepare students to interpret the geologic history of a rock sequence. The first lab introduces students to depositional environments and fossils. The second lab presents 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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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 ...