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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 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 ...

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.

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 ...

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.

Investigating contaminant transport and environmental justice issues in a local watershed through service learning projects with Sierra Club part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching: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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

Roadside and Engineering Geology of Auke Bay, Juneau Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
Final lab for an Introductory Physical Geology class. Students apply a semester of learned geology skills toward evaluating house building sites near our campus. They encounter evidence of faulting, mass wasting, ...

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.

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
This small group research project, and accompanying field trip, gives students an opportunity to investigate issues related to city planning, building design and usage, and earth materials used as architectural ...

The Lifestyle Project at Malaspina University-College, British Columbia part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
The project is used in two courses, both with the theme of understanding the environmental implications of our use of energy, exploring personal energy use, and learning about the types of energy available to Canadians. One is a face-to-face course for Education majors, the other is an on-line course available to all upper-level (3rd and 4th year) students.

The Lifestyle Project at the University of North Dakota part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
I use the Lifestyle Project in my Introduction to Environmental Issues class. This 3-week project asks students to make changes to their everyday environmental habits. This helps students realize that they have control of their lives and they can make decisions and make changes if they want to. And, given this empowerment, students can think about their impacts on Earth and their obligations to the planet and our society.

The Lifestyle Project at West Chester University of Pennsylvania part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
This five-week project asks students to examine the environmental outcomes of their lifestyle choices, to investigate and try out more sustainable choices, and to write about their experiences.

The Lifestyle Project at the University of Redlands part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
This three-week project begins with a measurement of "baseline" consumptive behavior followed by two weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The ...

Yellowstone Fires part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module enables students to take a problem-based learning approach to wildfires, in particular whether a "let-it-burn" policy makes sense in Yellowstone National Park. -

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