Activities for Introductory GeoscienceHere 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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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.
Exploring Earthquake Hazards with GIS part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
This activity is a straightforward application of GIS to assessment of earthquake hazards. The students get more modeling skills with GIS and a better understanding of earthquake hazards.
Upper Hudson Dredging Debate part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geology and Human Health:Workshop 04:Activities
This exercise is intended to investigate, in detail, a current environmental problem, namely the environmental dredging of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the Upper Hudson River. After an introductory lecture ...
Election Project part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
Students research and report on candidates positions on issues relevant to the course. Students get to apply what they have covered in class to real events relevant to their current and future lives.
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.
Sedimentation of Mud - Observation and Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Videos:Activities
The process of mud settling in a graduated cylinder was filmed as a time lapse series over about 2 hours. Students observe and analyze the sedimentation process.
Question of the Day: Regeneration of Fish part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Question of the Day
The two figures shown above are from the The Fishing Game (more info) game. They show the number of new fish per year that are added to the fish "stock," depending on the maximum number of fish that the ...
Richmond's Urban Heat Island part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Urban Geology:Activities
Students will be asked questions regarding the causes and impacts of the UHI. They will also be asked to apply this knowledge to two real-world settings and analyze data collected at both locations.
To Drill or Not to Drill? A Case Study in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Environmental Geology:Activities
To Drill or Not to Drill is a multidisciplinary problem based learning exercise, which intends to increase students' knowledge of a variety of topics through a real world environmental topic. In addition, ...
Environmental Footprint part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This activity has students do a web-based environmental footprint quiz and integrate their results into a class mean. The students compare their results by creating a bar graph and do some simple calculations to see how much of the Earth just the population of the US requires.
Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...
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Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds) part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...
Subduction Zone Earthquakes part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes. -
Stream Gages and GIS part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
Utilize the online GIS of the USGS real-time stream gage network to introduce basic concepts of data-driven maps and GIS. This exercise can be used independently or with other hydrology exercises. -
Transnational Pollution: Why Are You Dumping on Me? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the different types of transnational pollution, by having them role-play in a hypothetical disaster on the Danube River. -
Rivers: Short In-class Activity part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Images of the James River in Virginia, including one at flood stage, and of potholes, all of which can be used to have the students make observations, estimates, and interpretations. -
Distribution of Active Volcanoes Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this series of inquiry-based exercises about volcanoes and plate tectonics, students will collect, plot, and interpret data and finish with a role-playing activity and a virtual field trip. -
Eruption! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano. -
Wheel of... Geology! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This quiz game is intended to help students review for an upcoming exam. Topics of questions are randomly determined by spinning a wheel. Teams answer questions using electronic CPS handhelds. -
The Use of a Piece of Land part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing exercise, students represent groups interested in buying the same piece of land and will need to consult land-use laws. -