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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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Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.

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Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...

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Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This fairly traditional topographic maps lab uses local maps as examples. It is intended to prepare students for a group research project later in the semester.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...

Wastewater Treatment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity involves a tour of the local waste water treatment plant, where the students learn about the waste water treatment process. Following the tour the students write up a paper describing the water's ...

Introduction to Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is designed as an introductory Google Earth tutorial on navigation; layers and featured content; and the creation and modification of Placemarks, Paths, and Polygons. The assignment is intended as a ...

Using ArcGIS to Evaluate the Qattara Depression Solar-Hydroelectric Power Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use ArcGIS to evaluate a proposal to generate hydroelectric power by piping water from the Mediterranean and dropping it into the sub-sea level Qattara Depression.

Geoprofiles part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
An essay describing the work geologists/earth scientists perform, based on profiles in Monroe and Wiccander's Physical Geology textbook (5th ed.).

Short Geology Research Paper part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are assigned to take a topic and research it in some depth, beyond the discussion in the class or in the book. The paper is 4-6 typed pages in length. Suggested topics include geologic hazards, geologic ...

What can you do? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity helps students, specifically non-majors, to become more environmentally conscious. They identify a minimum of five behaviors, situations, or actions that are harmful to the environment and can be ...

Landslides and the Colorado Front Range Debris Flows of 2013 part of Activities
Students complete two background readings to answer a variety of questions about landslides

Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Role-Play Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
When the science is so clear, why is it so difficult to make agreements that will reduce our impact on climate change? This exercise is designed to help students explore that important question in an active and ...

Online Discussions in an Environmental Geology Course part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
In this introductory-level course, the online discussions are the heart and soul of the course. Throughout the 7 online discussions, much of the course content is presented and digested, students employ critical ...

Coastal Erosion Online Discussion part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This assignment is designed to get students to see the application of geology to a local problem, coastal erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline. I think the strength of this assignment is that many of the students ...

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Establishing relevance as a way to motivate introductory students part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This assignment ask students to do oral interviews with at least five people and online research on professional geology organizations and their missions. Using these interviews and research, students are to write ...

Global Change Biology Service-Learning Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Service Learning:Examples
The class engaged in a service learning project to craft a draft sustainability vision for Carleton. The students worked in teams of 3-4 students and the statements that each of the teams developed were shared with the Environment and Technology Studies Program (ENTS) and the Carleton Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).

Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

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Pre-instructional activities to prepare students for online learning part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students get low-stakes practice doing many of the tasks they will have to complete later on the course such as navigating the course website, turning in an assignment to a dropbox, and posting to a discussion ...

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 ...

Calculation of your personal carbon footprint part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...

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