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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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Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students research and report on the environmental geology (resources and hazards) of the area around their home. The project helps develop students' abilities to apply what they have learned.

Superfund Case Study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is meant to reinforce concepts covered in the whole course. It helps students integrate concepts from risk and toxicology, air, water and soil pollution, regulation and remediation technology.

Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...

Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Investigative Case - "Goodbye Honey Buckets" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will investigate arctic geology and hydrology as well as tundra ecology as they consider options for sewage treatment. Public safety, environmental impact, and issues of construction and engineering will be explored.

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Petroleum Use Jigsaw Activity/Homework part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students get one of 3 homework assignments. They then gather in groups, one that has completed each homework to answer questions as a group. The exercises estimate current oil usage, reserves, and amounts available ...

The Energy Conundrum part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This is a lecture aimed at preparing students for making the leap from what is to what ought to be. In it, I present the main sociological theories about poverty and examine several places I've lived—New ...

JiTT - Ethics of Fossil Collecting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What do you think it means for a fossil resource to be "abused"? 2) What's the issue with fossil hunting on federal land (such as National Parks)? Explain what your interpretation of the conflict ...

Water Wars: A look at Gallatin Valley Water Controversies part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
This virtual field trip explores the science and policy of a ground water dispute in Gallatin Valley Montana. The virtual field trip uses a role-playing activity to explore the geology, hydrology and policy related ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Grand Canyon part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This interdisciplinary lesson plan deals with the consequences of damming in the Grand Canyon area. The students, role-playing as scientists, write a proposal to try experimental flooding. -

WorldWatcher Project: Global Warming Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this exercise, students role-play advisors to various heads of state on the subject of global warming. The web site also has free modeling and GIS software and lesson and lab plans. -

Mock Environmental Summit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
At the end of a six-week class or unit on global warming, students role-play representatives from various countries and organizations at an international summit on global warming. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
A virtual and traditional field trip experience that was designed to study how virtual field trips should be used in geoscience curriculum. Field trip exercises are based on a local groundwater controversy that ...

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

Investigating contaminant transport and environmental justice issues in a local watershed through service learning projects with Sierra Club part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Students will be applying hydrogeology concepts and methods in the lab and the field and conducting interviews as part of a coherent characterization of water quality issues and potential risks in local low-income, ...

Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Energy Policy part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
Students research and make recommendations regarding the petroleum energy policy of the U.S. with respect to other countries.

Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
Students conduct a greenhouse gas emission inventory for their college or university. Students analyze findings and present information to the college or university community. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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