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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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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 ...

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 ...

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.

How much work to learn about the Earth? part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Activity Ideas
Ed Nuhfer and Team in the Monday 1:00 workshop on Marine Geoscience Data System Topic: Appreciate the work it takes to construct a historical science and test multiple working hypotheses. The Marine Geoscience ...

Exploring local, regional, and seasonal hydrology patterns using Giovanni data part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Activity Ideas
Gary Randolph, David Smith, Pat Kennedy, Warrern Tomkiewicz, Mark Abolins, and Bob Myers Topics: seasonal hydrology patterns; local and regional hydrology patterns Course Type: intro Description Students will ...

Seafloor Sediment Thickness Variability part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Activity Ideas
Andrew Goodwillie, Chris Condit, Pat Kennelly, Warren Tomkiewicz, Mark Leckie, Ed Nuhfer, Mark Abolins, Lensyl Urbano, Jose Hurtado, Ned Gardiner, Gareth Fanning, Elli Goeke, and Glenn Richard Topic: world ocean ...

Compare Data for Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Activity Ideas
Andrew Goodwillie, Chris Condit, Pat Kennelly, Warren Tomkiewicz, Mark Leckie, Ed Nuhfer, Mark Abolins, Lensyl Urbano, Jose Hurtado, Ned Gardiner, Gareth Fanning, Elli Goeke, and Glenn Richard Topic: plate ...

Measuring Coastal Change part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students analyze a time-series of aerial photographs of coastal areas to describe changes in beach width and depositional and erosional features over several decades.

Volcanoes Around the Globe part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

Formation of the solar system part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
This assignment or demonstration works really well for me in describing the formation of the solar system, the shapes and changes in planetary orbits, and introduces Milankovitch cycles.

Sandbox modeling part of Cutting Edge:Urban Geology:Activities
Students deform layers of colored sand to simulate features they observe in city. They construct topo maps and cross-sections based on the results of the sandbox experiment. The model is then the basis for ...

Google Earth Lab for Oceanography part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
This activity is designed to give students an introduction to Google Earth, and to demonstrate some of its capabilities as an educational tool. This lab asks students to examine a number of features and to answer ...