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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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Stratospheric Ozone part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students explore observational data from ozone-sondes, TOMS, and UARS measurements to learn about changes in stratospheric ozone over the past several decades. -

Ocean Circulation part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students view and analyze buoy, satellite, temperature vs. depth data to learn about ocean circulation and how is related to atmospheric circulation. -

The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

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Earth's Radiation Budget: Part 1 part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity students explore the Earth's radiation budget using Earth radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data archived at the IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library (more info) . -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Reflection and Absorption of Light part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a light sensor and temperature probe to explore the reflection and absorption of light. -

Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -

Comparing Sunscreens part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to an ultra-violet sensor to compare the relative blocking power of different SPF sunscreens for the UVB region of the solar spectrum. -

Where is North? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a magnetic field sensor to measure the magnitude and direction of their local Earth's magnetic field . -

Sleeping Mountain Scenario part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Original Author: Janice Cooper. Posted with the permission of Glenn Jaecks, (University of California Davis Geology Department) Introduction | Format for Discussion | The Reality of the Threat at Mammoth | Web ...

Investigation: When will there no longer be glaciers in Glacier National Park? part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students use historical data on the extent of the Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park to estimate when the glacier will melt completely.

Flood Frequency and Risk Assessment part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students calculate recurrence intervals for various degrees of flooding based on historical data. Students then do a risk assessment for the surrounding community.

Introduction to Texas Hurricanes part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students graph data from 20th century hurricanes that affected the state of Texas. Along the way they answer questions that ask them to interpret what they see represented on the graphs.

Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.

M&M Model for Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A tasty in-class demonstration of radioactive decay using two colors of M&M's. Illustrates the quantitative concepts of probability and exponential decay. This activity is appropriate for small classes (<40 students).

Sun Spot Analysis part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra". -

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

Runaway Greenhouse Effect Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This site has a collection of role-playing exercises that provide the students with equations and data to use in collaborative problem-solving. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Gallery Walk Questions on Atmosphere Composition part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about atmosphere composition, greenhouse gases, ozone. The questions are ...

Gallery Walk Questions on Weathering and Mass Wasting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about weathering and mass wasting. The questions are organized according to ...