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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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Take A Hike Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are assigned to take a hike in a location of their choice and write a concise summary of their observations of Earth Science features and processes. This assignment is used near the end of an Earth Systems ...

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Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.

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Soil description & analysis part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The students pull soil cores in a transect across a hill. They describe the horizons and create a fence diagram, then determine the maturity of the soil & relate it to the climate & geologic history of the ...

Florida River Project: Semester-long group project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a semester-long group research project that uses a local river to integrate several lab and field activities. The project covers topographic maps, rock and mineral identification, measuring data in the ...

Florida River Project: Measuring discharge, sediment, and water chemistry part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This data collection lab is part of a semester-long project, monitoring a local river.

Rivers and Streams part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab activity has students collect stream data in the field and calculate flow velocity, discharge and gradient. Additional activities include plotting clast size on a Hjulstrom Diagram, and unit conversions.

Study of the Horsepen Creek Stream System part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an in depth laboratory exercise that can be adapted to any stream system, and has been successfully implemented with classes composed primarily of non-majors. This field exercise allows students to go ...

Walking Field Trip to the San Andreas Fault part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Due to our University's unique location approximately one mile from the nearest trace of the San Andreas Fault, we are able to take students on a walking field trip to the San Andreas. On the trip we set the ...

Chemical Weathering part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This field trip assignment brings students to a local cemetery to collect data related to the age and extent of weathering of limestone and igneous tombstones. Students then analyze the data they collect using ...

Exploring the Bay Area part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is a do-it-yourself field trip. Students are given the opportunity to visit a local geologic feature and learn something about the origins and evolution of that site.

Geology of a graveyard part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a simple field experiment exercise that illustrates differences between basic rock types and weathering in a region.

Stream and River Water Quality part of Activities
Students visit a stream or river and conduct a site description and assess water quality using a variety of test kits and other field equipment.

Soil Field Methods part of Activities
Students collect a soil profile using a bucket auger and then describe the profile in the field.

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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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 ...

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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 ...

Riverbank rock identification part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students collect rocks from a sand-bed river, identify them, and place them on a bedrock geology map of Minnesota to identify the original rock sources.

Hydraulic Geometry and Channel Roughness part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
In this field exercise, students measure channel cross sections in a rough (alluvial) and smooth bedrock-floored reach in a local stream. The students test the hypothesis that increasing roughness decreases average ...

Pathogenic Microorganisms in Water part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity introduces students to sampling and testing for microorganisms in different water sources. It also tests iodine tablets to kill coliform bacteria which interest many students. The activity utilizes ...

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Post-Settlement Erosion and Deposition part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Field Labs:Field Lab Examples
Use valley and slope deposits to reconstruct recent landscape erosion and sedimentation history. -