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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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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.

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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.

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 ...

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Protection of Wolves: Biological Ecosystems and Human Interests part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Structured Academic Controversy:Examples
After being extirpated from Yellowstone Park and other western habitats in the 1930s, gray wolves were reintroduced during the 1980s. The recovery effort has been so successful that gray wolves may no longer be ...

Flood Curves Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
This Lecture Tutorial worksheet guides students through thinking about the effects humans have on infiltration, and how that effects the duration and severity of floods. It is designed to be used in groups after a brief lecture introducing surface and ground water flow into a stream.

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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.

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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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